PRETORIA– South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) is coordinating relief efforts amid the worst storm that hit many parts of the province.

The storm, which hit the province on Tuesday morning, caused major damage to hospitals, factories, homes and other key infrastructure.

According to a Cogta report, the storm caused power outages in various areas, with two deaths reported. Many residential areas, including businesses, especially in eThekwini Metro, reported flash flooding.

Most areas in eThekwini were reported to be affected by strong winds with heavy downpours, resulting in the falling of trees and some housing infrastructure in areas of Umlazi, Amanzimtoti and Montclair.

Other major incidents have been reported in Nquthu Local Municipality in Ward 8 of Mbewunye, where an eight-year-old girl was struck by lightning, and in Ward 2 KwaMngxangala area, where a 46-year-old male drowned while trying to cross an overflowing river.

Ugu District Municipality has reported that Mbango Bridge under Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality and Umzinto Bridge in Mdoni are flooding, spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said.

Mabaso said traffic authorities are closely monitoring the situation.

Acting MEC for Cogta, Weziwe Thusi, has activated and dispatched all disaster management teams to respond to the situation on the ground.

Currently, teams are providing emergency relief led by mayors, councillors, amakhosi, izinduna, ward councillors and community development workers.

MEC Thusi has also activated Joint Operations Centres in all affected municipalities, which are coordinating relief and rapid response efforts.

Disaster management teams will continue to provide emergency assistance as long as necessary.

KwaZulu-Natal Metrorail services have been suspended due to bad weather, says the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

The service suspension comes as a result of the safety concerns related to the strong possibility of flooding of the rail lines, PRASA said in a statement.

The agency has encouraged passengers to seek alternative transportation until the storm passes and Metrorail has assessed the post-storm conditions of the rail lines.


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