Locals clean up after storm havoc

MOPPING up operations continued in the impoverished Abaqulusi municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal after more than 100 homes were destroyed and two children killed in run way veld fires fanned by heavy winds.

MOPPING up operations continued in the impoverished Abaqulusi municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal after more than 100 homes were destroyed and two children killed in run way veld fires fanned by heavy winds.

The two Nkosi children died when the fire razed their home while they were asleep at the weekend.

Their parents were admitted to hospital with serious burn wounds.

The hardest hit areas were the Alpha mining township and Mondlo.

Yesterday people began rebuilding their homes and clearing away the rubble and debris.

Hundreds of people have been left destitute after corrugated iron roofs were blown away and rondavels razed to the ground as the raging infernos and winds cut through the municipality.

Mayor George Dlamini said the community could not do much to avert the death and destruction caused mainly by the heavy winds.

"People are still in shock," Dlamini said. "We have provided the victims with tents and blankets. Some businesspeople gave food but we need more assistance."

The two children will be buried today with the assistance of the municipality, Dlamini said.

Dlamini said parts of the area are without electricity because the wind blew away electricity poles and pylons.

He said officials were still assessing the damage.

"Once we have collected the information I will send a report detailing the victims' needs to the Zululand district municipality," Dlamini said.

"It's possible that more homes have been destroyed in other wards."

X