South Africa – Deadly Floods and Landslides Hit KZN and Eastern Cape


KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), confirmed in a statement of 23 April, 2019 that at least 32 people have died and 10 are missing after heavy rain, floods and landslides in the Durban area.

“Heavy rains have since claimed 32 lives so far and 10 missing persons, all of them children in and around Durban alone. There have also been 42 reported injuries. Over 2000 emergency calls were logged at the PDMC in Durban last night,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

Dozens of incidents of collapsed walls and flooded homes have been reported throughout the night, with 235 Durban homes already assessed as damaged. The assessment continues both in respect of private properties and public infrastructure. Roads have been flooded too, disrupting traffic as KZN enters the first working day after the long Easter weekend.

“We are also calling on residents of low-lying areas to move to higher ground without delay. And motorists and pedestrians are urged to exercise utmost caution on the roads that are already flooded or where there is high risk of flash flooding,” said Dube-Ncube.

Authorities also reported 145 displaced persons, some of whom have already found refuge with relatives. Those without alternative accommodation will be provided with temporary shelter as close to their homes as possible.

“At the same time, we would like to assure the general public that our disaster management teams are working round the clock to attend to all reported incidents. Where help is needed, it is already on its way or will be very soon. We are overwhelmed but our presence throughout KZN ensures that we will be able to assist everywhere we are called,” said Dube-Ncube.

Storms and rain caused flooding, landslides and major damage in the Durban area, April 2019. Photo: KwaZulu-Natal Cogta
Storms and rain caused flooding, landslides and major damage in the Durban area from 21 April 2019. Photo: KwaZulu-Natal Cogta
Storms and rain caused flooding, landslides and major damage in the Durban area from 21 April 2019. Photo: KwaZulu-Natal Cogta

Original report, 23 April 2019:

Heavy rain in South Africa has caused flooding in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces. Further heavy rain has been forecast.

Oribi Gorge in southern KwaZulu-Natal recorded 234mm of rain in 24 hours to early 23 April, according to weather services provider, Africa Weather. Port St Johns recorded 189mm of rain and Durban 165mm during the same period.

KwaZulu-Natal Province

Schools and roads have been closed after widespread flooding in the coastal city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province. The overflowing Umgeni River has prompted evacuations.

At least five people have died and dozens others have been injured after buildings collapsed during flooding and mudslides in different parts of the city.

Four people died when their home collapsed in the Malvern area of the city during the early hours of 23 April. One person died and another was injured after a house collapsed in Overport.

Media also said there have been reports of informal settlements in Chatsworth being washed away.

Eastern Cape Province

South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reported that hundreds of people have evacuated their homes in Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape province of the country after flooding on 22 April, 2019.

SABC said that flash floods affected the low lying areas as the major Mzimvubu River burst its banks. Green Farm in Port St Johns is one of the worst hit areas, where flooding has damaged homes and property. Flood victims have been taken to a town hall and churches for temporary shelter.

Further rainfall is expected. SABC said, “As the rain continues to intensify, residents continue to leave their homes to seek refuge.”

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