The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) has responded to the disasters caused by thunderstorms in the Umgungundlovu and Harry Gwala Districts, following the inclement weather on Sunday and Monday night in Pietermaritzburg.
According to the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) preliminary reports, various areas were affected by heavy storms in the form of hail and heavy rains, which affected a number of areas.
The affected areas, including France, Mpumuza, Henley, Machibisa, KwaPata, kaShange, Ashdown and parts of Imbali Township, were left damaged with roofs blown away and some houses were completely destroyed.
The department said the disaster management teams, working with Msunduzi Local Municipality, are conducting ongoing assessments and providing relief to affected families.
In the Harry Gwala District Municipality, strong winds and hail storms were also reported in various wards of the Umzimkhulu Local Municipality, causing damage to households.
The reports indicate that seven houses were totally destroyed, with 19 partially damaged, and seven people left homeless. No serious injuries or fatalities have been reported so far.
The department said the disaster teams have provided relief materials to the affected families and the teams are also conducting damage assessments in other wards within the Umzimkhulu area.
KZN CoGTA MEC, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, has expressed sympathy to all affected families and urged the disaster teams to ensure all affected families are profiled to receive assistance.
“As the department, we sympathise with all families that have been affected by this damaging weather in all areas. Our disaster teams are currently on the ground conducting assessments to ensure that all affected communities get assistance.
“We have engaged our sister departments, including Human Settlements and Social Development, to render their services, especially to those who may have lost identity documents, and Human Settlements will provide relief to fix damages,” Sithole-Moloi said.
The MEC urged the communities to take precautionary measures to minimise the impact of the current disasters.
“As the rainy season is upon us, we are experiencing this damaging weather more often as the province. Let us make sure that we move to safer areas where there are no threats and avoid traveling during heavy rains.
“Our disaster teams have activated the joint operations clusters where we work with all municipalities, NGOs, and law enforcement agencies to respond to the disaster matters. The PDMC has engaged all districts to report any incidents and indicate any support required,” the MEC said. – SAnews.gov.za