Disaster teams on high alert as heavy rains fall in KZN

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A sinkhole caused by heavy rains in KZN has resulted in a road closure inland of Shaka’s Rock on the north coast.

PICTURE: IPSS MEDICAL RESCUE

A massive sinkhole has closed a road inland of Shaka’s Road, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, as heavy rains lashed the province overnight.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities linked to the deluge, according to the Cooperative governance department, but the SA Weather Service has issued a warning to residents. As much as 80mm of rain was expected to fall from Tuesday night into Wednesday, the service said.

The eThekwini Municipality issued a similar warning.

“Residents should not panic but take precautionary measures to ensure safety during this period. These measures include staying indoors and off the roads (where possible), avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped within a vehicle by rising waters, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Residents living in informal settlements are also advised to secure their roof sheeting,” the council said.

IPSS Medical Rescue on Wednesday morning reported that Esenembe Road had been closed for safety reasons due to a massive sinkhole caused by the rain.

The cooperative governance department said this week that it had put its disaster management teams on high alert, particularly in the eThekwini, Ilembe, King Cetshwayo, uMkhanyakude and Ugu districts, which were expected to receive the heaviest rainfall.

“Natural disasters are a risk in KZN as heavy rains and floods leave millions of rands in damages and occasionally result in loss of life. Parents must ensure that children are safe and do not go out when the weather is bad. Those residing in low-lying areas need to find shelter on higher ground,” said MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

Emergency plans have been activated in municipalities to ensure that adequate support is provided to those who might be affected by the heavy rains.

MATTHEW SAVIDES

 

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