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KZN disaster management teams on standby as heavy rains persist

Parts of Port Shepstone on the KZN south coast have been badly affected by heavy rain, with roads flooded and other areas experiencing mudslides.
Parts of Port Shepstone on the KZN south coast have been badly affected by heavy rain, with roads flooded and other areas experiencing mudslides.
Image: Screenshot

The KwaZulu-Natal department of co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) has placed disaster management services on standby after heavy rain hit parts of the province.

Some parts of Port Shepstone on the south coast have been badly affected, with water overflowing on roads, and other areas have experienced mudslides. 

The South African Weather Service (Saws) issued a warning to communities, particularly those on the south coast, of more heavy rains that may result in flooding. 

The Ugu district municipality — encompassing Ray Nkonyeni, Umuziwabantu, Umdoni, and Umzumbe local municipalities — has been placed on an orange level 6 alert, the second highest warning level.

The heavy rains are anticipated to persist from Tuesday to Wednesday morning. 

Saws said while the eThekwini metro and coastal areas will experience widespread showers and thundershowers, the intensity will be moderate in places, with scattered rainfall. 

Cogta head of communications Nonala Ndlovu said Margate and Port Edward have reported rainfall measurements of 89mm and 49mm respectively since Monday. 

Weather models indicate additional rainfall is expected over the Ugu municipality, gradually subsiding early tomorrow, she said.

Ndlovu said it was crucial to take heed of the potential risks associated with the heavy rains. Flooding of roads, bridges and settlements, both formal and informal, is highly likely.

“The fast-flowing streams and deep waters pose a threat to life. Flooding may cause major disruptions to traffic flow, impacting essential services such as water, electricity and communications. There is a risk of damage to mud-based houses in the affected areas.

“In response to this imminent threat, the department has activated all disaster management services in the affected areas. The teams stand ready to respond promptly and effectively wherever necessary.”

Ndlovu advised residents to closely monitor water levels and relocate to higher ground to avoid potential disasters. She said should residents experience difficulties, they must contact their local leadership.

Ndlovu urged motorists to exercise extreme caution when driving during this period: “Where possible we urge residents to postpone non-essential travel until the inclement weather subsides.”

The eThekwini municipality has urged residents to note the weather warning and be cautious as the inclement weather may result in fast-flowing streams and deep water. The public is advised to avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams and to be cautious when travelling. 

TimesLIVE


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