Ricochet News

Mop up operations begin after Durban storm leaves trail of destruction

Oct 11, 2017
Mop up operations begin after Durban storm leaves trail of destruction

Assessment and mop up operations have begun in Durban and along the KwaZulu Natal south coast, which were battered by a massive storm on Tuesday. The storm, which was also felt in the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape, brought with it heavy rains, snowfalls, 70km/h winds and flooding after pummeling Gauteng on Monday.

In the KZN, at least five people, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed and several others injured during the storm. The 12-year-old was swept away by a stream in Izingolweni, Port Shepstone, on the south coast, while two patients died when a wall collapsed at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi.

A policeman died and another was injured when a container fell on top of a car they were travelling in at Rotterdam Road in the Durban Harbour.

Several motorists and commuters were caught by surprise as the heavy rains quickly flooded highways, uprooted trees, loosed ships from their moorings and caused extensive damage to several buildings in Umlazi, Amanzimtoti and Montclair.

The N2 highway to the south, and other roads around Durban and the coast, had to be closed following the heavy flooding which saw many cars submerged or washed away and motorists stranded.

Parts of the King Edward Hospital in Durban were damaged, forcing authorities to move patients to different wards.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said its Durban, Shelly Beach and Port Edward stations as well as emergency services were fully-deployed and assisting at floods in and around the KwaZulu Natal North and South coasts.

Toyota SA confirmed that its manufacturing plant had incurred “significant damage” as a result of the storm, affecting buildings, equipment and vehicles on the assembly line.

No one was injured.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms were also reported in Pietermaritzburg, but conditions were not as severe as at the coastal.

The storm also brought snowfalls to the high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. According to the SA Snow Report sections of Sani Pass were closed while Tiffendell Ski Resort was blanketed in snow. Snow was also reported in Underberg and the southern Drakensberg.

The downpours in Gauteng, particularly the West Rand, on Monday resulted in 500 people being displaced.

Mostly clear skies are expected for the rest of the week.

On Wednesday morning, the SA Weather Services warned of High Seas, with wave heights in excess of 6 metres, that are expected between Durban and Maputo as the day progresses and subsiding in the evening.

Image: ArriveAlive via Twitter