Sun. May 19th, 2024

Margate, situated along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, has been ravaged by torrential rains and powerful winds, resulting in at least five confirmed deaths and two individuals sustaining injuries.

The department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) verified that three individuals drowned when their vehicle was swept off the road by floodwaters in Margate, while another person tragically fell victim to a lightning strike.

According to KZN Cogta member of the executive council (MEC), Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, the fifth victim succumbed to injuries after falling from a roof while attempting to stem flooding waters. Additionally, two individuals suffered injuries in the Umgababa area in the southern region of eThekwini.

Sithole-Moloi, accompanied by Ugu District Mayor Sikhumbuzo Isaac Mqadi and Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality Mayor Zodwa Mzindle, conducted assessments across various areas to gauge the extent of the damage. The heavy rains wreaked havoc on homes and infrastructure, causing significant harm to roads, sewer systems, traffic lights, and electricity infrastructure. Notably, a car dealership suffered extensive damage, with seven vehicles swept away by the deluge.

Numerous roads and businesses remain shuttered in Margate as cleanup efforts persist. As a precautionary measure, the Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality has temporarily closed all 10 beaches until further notice.

Moreover, several businesses along the beachfront in the popular coastal town suffered losses due to the adverse weather conditions. Sithole-Moloi emphasized the necessity for multi-departmental intervention and confirmed engagement with national government authorities to address the situation comprehensively.

Disaster response teams continue to operate on the ground, providing aid to affected residents and offering counseling services to those in need.

In eThekwini, over 35 households sustained damage from the heavy rains, impacting approximately 160 individuals. Two individuals were confirmed injured and are currently receiving medical treatment.

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