10 October 2017

South Africa: Wrap - Death Toll Climbs As Durban Weather Wreaks Havoc

Photo: Rob Beezy/Twitter
Flooding in the aftermath of a hailstorm in Durban.

A 12-year-old boy is one of four people who were reported dead when a heavy storm swept through KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, emergency services said.

He was swept away by a stream in Izingolweni, Port Shepstone, on the south coast of KZN, said Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert McKenzie. Two patients died when a wall collapsed at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi.

"Sadly, we report that a wall collapsed fatally wounding two patients in an accident that saw two other patients incurring serious injuries," said provincial Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, in a statement. 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, according to Rescue Care paramedics spokesperson Garrith Jamieson.

More than eight healthcare institutions in the eThekwini District were damaged during the storm that battered most parts of Durban, said Dhlomo.

Some of the affected hospitals include Addington, RK Khan, Wentworth, St Aidans, King Edward, Clairwood and Inkosi Albert Luthuli.

Most of these hospitals were flooded and some of them had their windows and roofs blown off by the heavy winds that came with the storm.

When News24 went to the Durban beachfront shortly after midday, most restaurants on the promenade were closed.

Street vending stalls were also blown off by the heavy wind. One of the hawkers who spoke to News24 said one of the roofs landed on top of an elderly woman and they rushed her to the nearby Addington Hospital.

Motorists were stuck on flooded freeways, particularly the N2 and M4 near the old Durban airport in Reunion. Houses were also flooded and collapsed in Folweni, south of Durban during the storm. Trees were also uprooted by the storm that hit Durban just after 09:00. The eThekwini Municipality reported that large parts of the municipality's electricity network were severely affected by the rain.

The municipality said clean-up operations will begin soon as the storm subsides and when the inclement weather has stabilised.

The South African Weather Services has reported that high seas with wave heights in excess of six metres are expected between Durban and Maputo on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs department reports that two people died following the storm that hit the province on Monday. Several people, including an infant, a 73-year-old woman, and a patient from a mental hospital were admitted to hospital after they were injured during the storm, said Cogta.

Hundreds of residents were also placed in temporary shelters after their homes were damaged. "Our hearts go out to all the victims of the storms and I wish to express the Gauteng provincial government's heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wish those injured a speedy recovery," said Cogta MEC Paul Mashatile.

Source: News24

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