Three more people have died in lightning strikes in KwaZulu-Natal, bringing to 10 the number of people killed in one week, the provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs department said on Saturday.
“With the province of KwaZulu-Natal still licking its wounds after seven people lost their lives in the area of KwaMachi near Harding in the Umuziwabantu local municipality, another tragedy has struck as more lightning, hail, and storms have hit the neighbouring uMzimkhulu municipality killing three more people and injuring dozens of others as well as damaging homes,” MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said.
In wards 14 and 18 in uMzimkhulu municipality more than 80 household were affected by storms. A team of disaster management personnel led by the local mayor Mphuthumi Mpabanga had been undertaking door-to-door visits to all the affected families and providing first-line support, she said.
Dube-Ncube extended heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. She had ordered that more lighting conductors be provided to the affected areas and also sent additional disaster management teams in support.
“We wish to assure the public that they are not facing these natural disasters without a helping hand from the provincial government. We are deeply saddened by this latest tragedy which happened barely a day after we were still trying to come to terms with the double tragedy of KwaMachi in Harding. We reiterate our call to the public, particularly in the rural areas, to exercise caution as we are in the middle of the summer season when incidents of this nature tend to occur most frequently,” she said.
“We will continue to experience such unpredictable weather conditions as a result of climate change. Unfortunately, these are acts of nature and they are beyond our control. Our duty, however, is to be on alert and minimise the loss of life. Our disaster management centres are always on standby.
“We are doing everything possible to support the affected families; our disaster management teams remain on the scene at uMzimkhulu and KwaMachi to provide assistance to all affected members of the community,” Dube-Ncube said.