Disaster management teams in KwaZulu-Natal have been placed on alert following flood warnings from the South African Weather Service (SAWS).
The weather service warned there is a strong possibility of severe thunderstorms that could lead to localised flooding in large parts of the province.
Flood warnings issued
SAWS issued multiple severe thunderstorm warnings for parts of KZN on Sunday.
KwaZulu-Natal cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka placed disaster management teams on high alert following the reports.
Four people died in a lightning strike in Mkhuze in Northern KwaZulu-Natal earlier this month and authorities have urged the public to be wary of travelling during storm conditions.
“Our disaster management teams are on standby in areas that are prone to flooding and they will be monitoring the situation. We have full confidence in our teams’ ability to provide the necessary support should the need arise,” Hlomuka said in the statement issued to the press on Sunday.
Residents were urged to be cautious, especially motorists and pedestrians who get caught in storms.
“Our province has lost many lives to lightning strikes and flooding, and we are calling on pedestrians to ensure that they do not cross walkways or bridges that are prone to flooding.
“Those with livestock are urged to first seek shelter at the slightest indication of lightning,” Hlomuka said.
Severe thunderstorms have been forecast across the Province for Sunday with as much as 20mm of rain predicted for Pietermaritzburg.
More rain is expected to fall on Monday as the wet weather increases the risk of traffic collisions.
Wet weather makes for nightmare roads
Fifteen people were injured when a minibus taxi and two bakkies collided with a truck and trailer on the N3 in the Camperdown area, northwest of Durban early on Sunday morning.
“ER24 paramedics were first on the scene at 5.40am to find the truck and trailer completely blocking the freeway and people walking around the scene in the misty weather,” ER24 spokesman Ross Campbell said.
Most of the injured people were travelling in the minibus taxi to a running event. One injured woman was treated with advanced life support interventions before being taken to Edendale Hospital for further care. A child and his father and three other patients who had suffered injuries were taken to Northdale Hospital and Mediclinic Pietermaritzburg by ER24.
“Nine other people were treated and transported by other emergency services to provincial hospitals in the area. Police were investigating the incident,” Campbell said.