1 minute read
7 Feb 2015
5:50 pm

Disaster management on high alert


The KwaZulu-Natal department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) are on high alert after five people were killed in hail storms across the province.

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“Our disaster management teams are ready to intervene should the need arise,” Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said in a statement on Saturday.

“We are monitoring the weather situation in the entire province closely and we will act swiftly when called upon to do so.”

Five people, including a baby, were killed overnight in parts of KwaZulu-Natal during the severe weather conditions, the province’s Emergency Medical Services said earlier.

In Umlazi, south of Durban, two people were killed and three others injured in separate incidents when two informal shacks collapsed on Friday night, said spokesman Robert Mckenzie.

In Mariannhill, one person was killed and another was critically injured when their mud dwelling collapsed in a heavy downpour.

Mckenzie said another two people were killed in Pietermaritzburg when their houses were struck by lightning. One was a five-day-old baby girl from Sweetwaters, and the other was a 77-year-old man from Taylors Halt.

“There were also several reports of severe hailstorm in the Pietermaritzburg, Stanger and Ixopo areas, which caused extensive damage to houses and vehicles,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal Cogta spokesman Lennox Mabaso said the department was assessing the extent of the damage.

“The KZN Cogta has also expressed sympathy with all residents of the province’s municipalities who lost their loved ones and whose property was damaged in last night’s hailstorm.”