KZN hard hit by floods

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pretoria - Heavy rains and flooding in parts of KwaZulu-Natal have claimed the lives of at least five people, while many more have been forced to leave their homes.

According to the provincial government, houses and bridges have been damaged in flood hit areas and residents living on river banks have had to be moved.

In Ladysmith, two people died while apparently trying to cross a river and another died after a house collapsed.

Two children also drowned in Folweni, said Lennox Mabaso, spokesperson for the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube.

Dube visited the flood affected areas of Ladysmith this week, where immediate support was given to victims in the form of shelter and food.

The MEC was also expected to call in engineers to assess Ladysmith's infrastructure.

Those who lived in "mud houses" were worst hit by the days of heavy rain, with many collapsing under the strain, Mabaso said.

He added the heavy downpour had been felt throughout the provinces, with reports of homes being flooded or damaged in other areas, including parts of Durban, Port Shepstone, KwaMashu, Molweni and Newcastle.

Emergency services and disaster centres throughout the province were hard at work to minimise the damage of the rain and floods.

Mabaso said ward councillors had also been mobilised to keep close watch in their respective areas and to immediately alert provincial authorities if there was any danger.

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