Mop up operations, assessments to continue until all victims are accounted for

As mop up operations and disaster assessments continue following torrential downpours in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has called on all dedicated teams on the ground, including speakers and mayors, to ensure that every affected citizen is profiled.

According to reports, over 600 households across the province have been reported damaged – this includes over 134 houses reported to be destroyed in Somkhele and KwaMyeki in Mtubatuba Local Municipality areas. Some of the houses were completely damaged, leaving families homeless. Residents have also reported the loss of valuable livestock, including goats, chickens and cows.

During a visit in Mtubatuba, Dube-Ncube said the province has pledged psychological support to all those affected, and the assessments will continue until all victims are accounted for.

“We are grateful that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has stepped in to assist in clearing the affected areas, as some roads are blocked by fallen poles and cables, with debris scattered throughout.

“We also appreciate the speedy responses by other social partners like the South African Red Cross who are on the ground with government. While we cannot determine the full extent of the damage, from the reports we have received, it is substantial,” Dube-Ncube said.

The provincial Department of Human Settlements will fast track the process of providing temporary structures to families whose houses were completely destroyed.

Other areas, including the Harry Gwala District and the Greater Kokstad Municipality suffered massive destruction due to heavy rains and hailstorm in the Pakkies Location.

Dube-Ncube noted that about six households were affected, and “fortunately, no fatalities, injuries, or displaced people have been reported at this stage”.

“In the Umzimkhulu Municipality, four households were affected by heavy rains in Madakeni location, with no fatalities at this point. In the Umgungundlovu District, 23 households in the Rosetta informal settlement under Mpofana Local Municipality were affected.

“In Ulundi, under the Zululand District Municipality a block of rental rooms was blown away by the strong winds. The storm also caused damage in some parts of uThukela District Municipality,” Dube-Ncube said.

She encouraged all affected citizens to reach out to their ward councillors or other public representatives as the province prepares interventions.

“On behalf of the provincial government, we wish to convey our sincere condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones in this disaster,” the Premier said.

Source: South African Government News Agency