Torrential rain kills at least five in Durban, forces evacuations in E.Cape
Emergency rescue and medical services have worked through the night in the wake of torrential rains which have pounded parts of KwaZulu-Natal since Monday, claiming several lives and leaving devastation in its wake.
The torrential downpours led to the evacuation of residents in the town of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape on Monday evening.
At least five people were confirmed dead and dozens others injured after their homes collapsed during flooding and mud slides in Durban.
Rescue Care’s Garrith Jamieson said emergency teams comprising of Saps and Metro search and rescue, IPSS medical rescue, the fire department and Rescue Care, had been working for several hours to respond to multiple call-outs of structural collapses in various areas around Durban.
A view of the rubble left behind after a house collapsed in Malvern. The search has been suspended for now due to dangerous conditions. Rescue teams have been working for hours. Four deaths are confirmed. #DurbanFloods— Dasen Thathiah (@DasenThathiah) April 23, 2019
Courtesy: @rescuecare pic.twitter.com/OU2P5dHe1Y
Rescue teams recovered four bodies - two adults and two children - from a home in Ellen Road, Malvern, which collapsed after a mud slide.
“It’s currently 2.20am in Ellen Road in the Malvern area. The rain is picking up and the search has been suspended due to dangerous conditions. It has been decided by the rescue team [which] has been working for hours to rescue survivors and bodies. At this stage we can confirm that two children and two adults have been killed and multiple [people] injured,” said Jamieson.
In another call-out, workers rescued a woman in her 70s after she was entrapped for almost two hours under rubble when her Overport home collapsed.
Her son, in his 20s, succumbed to major injuries as a result of the collapse.
Jamieson said rescue workers had cleared the area of other residents to avoid any further tragedy.
There were also reports of informal settlements in Chatsworth being washed away.
Residents have been advised to stay off the roads as emergency services respond to multiple call-outs. There have been reports of flooding and roads being washed away.
In the Eastern Cape, homes were flooded and residents had to be evacuated overnight after heavy downpours.
The Daily Dispatch reported that gravel roads in Coffee Bay were washed away and 10 guests from the popular Ocean View hotel had to have their vehicles towed after they got stuck in the mud.
The hotel's general manager Marco Oosthuizen told the paper they had recorded 120mm of rain.
Women and children had to be evacuated from the heavily flooded Green Farm in Port St Johns. Flash floods affected low-lying areas as the Mzimvubu River burst its banks, the SABC reported.
Port St Johns's municipality speaker Ayanda Gantsho said residents had been taken to safety at the town hall and churches.
Heavy rains also fell in Johannesburg continuing into Tuesday, making driving conditions dangerous.
This is a developing story.