The death toll in the flash floods that struck KwaZulu-Natal over the Easter weekend is expected to rise above the current confirmed figure of 67.
Emergency services continue the search for the bodies of people swept up in flood waters or caught up in the mudslides that followed the heavy rains experienced over the weekend.
The total number of accidental deaths in the Province over the Easter weekend has been put at 85, including the 13 killed in a church that collapsed on worshippers over Easter.
Final death toll based only on confirmed deaths
Cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube and eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede were conservative in their estimated death toll which sat at 67 on Thursday afternoon.
“We can confirm that we still have sites with active search and rescue scenes,” Dube-Ncube told the press on Thursday afternoon.
“These include, one at Tshelimyama where a vehicle was washed away and one at Mega Philani Bridge where a person was washed away. We also are looking at reports about a missing person at Silverglen. It is believed that the person may have drowned in the Inanda dam.
“The combined death toll in the province which includes Ugu so far is at 67, these are verified with SAPS and does not include unverified [deaths].
“The provincial and municipal disaster management officials are deployed to conduct physical assessments of the damages and provide relief where required. Other departments, such as human settlements, engineering, education, health, roads, parks and recreation are also on the ground.”
The eThekwini municipality has set up temporary shelters to house displaced families in 11 community halls.
“The unprecedented ferocity of this storm has interrupted many people’s lives. However, we have risen to the occasion as part of efforts to alleviate the impact of these disasters on our communities and to bring the lives of the people affected back to normality,” she added.
Conditions at temporary shelters slammed
A report from EWN has claimed that there were ten mattresses at the Umlazi Community Hall which was housing 75 displaced residents.
Ward committee member in Umlazi, Sindy Mkhize told reporters: “The floor space at the hall is enough for people to sleep on but we don’t have enough mattresses, food and blankets.”
A bank account for donations to the official relief effort has also been set up:
ABSA, KZN COGTA DISASTER FUND 2019, 4096334685
Alternatively KZN residents can help by dropping off canned food goods and blankets at the Gift of the Givers drop off points in KZN.
- 290 Prince Alfred Street, PMB
- 563 Ridge Road, Overport
- 8 Mzimkhulu Drive, Dube Business Centre at Dube Trade Port, King Shaka International
East Coast Radio House in Umhlanga will be hosting a food drive from 6am to 6pm on Friday 26 April.