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Storms in KwaZulu-Natal have killed 24 people and left one missing – Cogta MEC

Over the last four weeks, twenty-four individuals have died in KwaZulu-Natal as a result of extreme weather. Sipho Hlomuka, MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), said the deaths had occurred since December 15, when the province was hit by storms and severe weather.

“The latest report on the incidents that have taken place in the province since December last year shows that 24 lives have been lost – 18 drownings and six in lightning strikes – as a result of weather-related incidents, with one person missing. This number is expected to increase following the severe thunderstorms that struck the province during the weekend,” said Hlomuka.

Disaster Management teams were still compiling information while working with other government authorities, according to Hlomuka. Storms damaged more than 700 dwellings, according to Hlomuka.

“Disaster Management teams are still busy with assessments of the extent of the damage in some of the municipalities, where inclement weather conditions resulted in 205 incidents, which include strong winds, lightning strikes, structural fires, heavy rains, structural collapse and drownings,” said Hlomuka. About 11 000 people from 2 068 households have been affected across the province.

“The estimated cost of the damage currently stands at R3.2 billion,” he said. The South African Weather Service issued a yellow level-2 warning for thunderstorms in the province on Wednesday. “Severe thunderstorms that may result in heavy downpours and large amounts of small hail, leading to flash flooding of roads/bridges, low-lying areas and settlements – also causing difficulty in driving due to reduced visibility – is expected along the escarpment areas of Mpumalanga and the western parts of KwaZulu-Natal, and the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape,” the warning read. Hlomuka has appealed to residents to continue to be cautious of the weather conditions. He said affected municipalities have been requested to identify displaced residents for assistance. He added that disaster operations centres were activated in all district municipalities.


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