Canaan Mdletshe

Survivors of the torrential downpour this weekend on KwaZulu-Natal's north coast were yesterday still counting the cost of the damage as mopping up began in earnest.

Four bodies have so far been retrieved from flood waters, and the search for a fifth missing person continues. Heavy rains accompanied by thunder, lightning and winds caused extensive damage to homes, buildings, bridges and roads.

Hundreds of people have been left homeless. A car with two passengers was swept away by floods in the Ilembe municipality. The bodies of two other victims were recovered in Lindelani and Doesberg. One drowned at home and the other while trying to cross a local river.

Trees were uprooted, bridges and roads were destroyed, and homes were demolished.

At KwaDukuza, 350 people were affected when 50 homes were demolished. In Mandeni, 150 people were affected when 70 homes were damaged, and in Ndwedwe 40 people were left homeless and eight homes were destroyed.

Arnold Ramodibe, communications manager at Ilembe, said that officials were still searching for a fifth body that had been trapped in a car.

Ramodibe said five bridges had collapsed in flash floods and six roads had been destroyed.

Six cars were damaged in Libra when a wall collapsed on them.

Sowetan visited KwaDukuza yesterday and found that the municipality's economic development centre, disaster management centre and technical service centre had been destroyed. Computers were scattered in the mud and five municipal vehicles were damaged.

In Ntshwaini, 63-year-old Ester Dlamini broke her arm when she fell while trying to salvage items from her house before it collapsed.

"If some people had not rescued me I would have been dead. I was rushing to take a few things after the two rooms were destroyed, but I fell, breaking my arm. It took only a few minutes before my whole house was swept away by floods," she said.