Flood Hits KwaZulu-Natal for the Second Time…
The SA Weather Service issued a level 10 maximum notice on Saturday, May 21st for the KwaZulu-Natal province, which includes Durban. The weather service declared that it was expecting disruptive rains over the majority of the province.
As anticipated, it continued to rain for the majority of Sunday, May 22nd. According to provincial authorities, the province received approximately 10 inches of rain during the weekend’s big storm. By Sunday, over 200 residents had been evacuated from low-lying areas.
KwaZulu-Natal authorities opened 82 receiving centers and police, firefighters, and emergency crews were prepared to respond quickly to emergencies. The army has also been called in to assist, and officials have evacuated elderly residents in numerous areas. There have been no reported deaths from the rain and subsequent flooding.
The weather services reported on Monday that conditions had improved, but that rainfall was anticipated to continue in portions of the province.
Rescue personnel said they were working hard to evacuate people from low-lying regions, as well as old age homes and informal communities.
The latest flood disaster comes just six weeks after parts of KwaZulu-Natal were struck by devastating flooding in which more than 400 people died. At least 80 people are still missing. More than 40,000 homes were destroyed. Dozens of roads, bridges, water, and electricity infrastructure were damaged. Much of the damaged infrastructure has not been repaired or restored.
Post Effects of the Flood
When the current floods hit, thousands of people were still taking asylum in halls and other safe locations. Some of the structures that remained standing after the April floods were wrecked over the weekend.
At least one body has been found after torrential rain drenched KwaZulu-Natal for the second time in two months over the weekend. The body was discovered in Inanda. “We are thankful that in these areas, no one was reported to have died. Though we have received one body at Phoenix mortuary, which could be ascribed to these floods,” said Sihle Zikalala, the premier of the province.
He expressed his condolences to the people of uMdloti, where some homes were washed away, and noted that many families were still without shelter due to last month’s floods. “We know there are some people who are still living in temporary shelters. That’s why the department of human settlement is with us to ensure that those people are properly housed.”
When the city was devastated by the second round of floods, eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the city was still restoring water, electricity, and sanitation services. He said it was too early to estimate the magnitude of the recent damage, but he guaranteed the public that the city “is working around the clock to fix the damages.” Prior to the recent floods, KZN MEC for Transport Peggy Nkonyeni stated her department would ask the national government for R12 billion to repair roads and bridges wrecked by the April floods. This amount could increase as a result of the weekend storms, as more roads and bridges were destroyed.
More Insights on the Flood…
Massive showers in April triggered floods and landslides, claiming the lives of 435 people in KwaZulu-Natal, leaving survivors without drinking water for nearly two weeks, according to authorities. The floods inflicted damage worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and repairs are still ongoing.
During the April floods, a bridge washed away, cutting off residents of Intake, Tafelkop, and the neighboring villages. Army engineers and technicians were called in to reconstruct the bridge at the time. After two weeks, traffic and pedestrians were able to utilize it again. However, following recent floods, a road a few kilometers from the bridge was swept away, cutting the town off from clinics, schools, and workplaces once more.
Locals took it upon themselves to repair the bridge between Shallcross and Queensburgh when it collapsed during the April floods. The recent flooding has wiped out all of their hard work. The M4 between Ballito and Umhlanga has also been swept away, closing the road.
Premier Sihle Zikalala of KwaZulu-Natal is directing the provincial government’s disaster relief efforts, and he is currently analyzing the extent of flood damage across the province. He said, “We want to send our sympathy to all those who were affected. The process of rebuilding is still going to continue as we initially planned – it will cost us more money to rebuild and fix the infrastructure that was damaged. He also declared, “We already have teams that are assessing the damage in every area and (their reports) will be incorporated in the report that will be submitted to the national government.”
As the province continues with mop-up efforts, Zikalala updated the reporters on the recent developments. He revealed this week that roughly 30,000 employees in the manufacturing business are out of work as a result of the floods. Toyota was among the most damaged manufacturing companies. He also stated that while service providers had been chosen to construct 1,810 temporary residential units to house flood victims around the province, progress was being hindered due to the inadequacy of designated land.
The United Nations will keep track of how funds donated to flood relief in KwaZulu-Natal are spent. The organization is donating R21 million to victims of the floods. It says it will engage with NGOs and local communities.