[UPDATE] KZN storm death toll rises to 7
One of those killed was an 8-year-old child who was struck by lightning, the other person was a 46-year-old man who drowned while trying to cross an overflowing river.
JOHANNESBURG - The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department has confirmed that two patients were killed at a state hospital when a wall collapsed during Tuesday's severe thunderstorms.
It brings the confirmed number of deaths in the KZN storm to seven.
Earlier the KZN emergency services also confirmed that a 12-year-old boy has drowned while trying to cross a stream in the area of Izingolweni, 40 kilometres from Port Shepstone.
Paramedics said the boy’s body had been recovered and his family had been notified.
EMS spokesperson Robert McKenzie said: “Tragically, a 12-year-old boy has drowned [while] trying to cross a stream and this happened earlier this afternoon. Including this one."
At the same time, the Department of Cooperative Governance also confirmed that two people have been killed in the heavy downpours, with one of those being an eight-year-old child who was struck by lightning, while the other person was a 46-year-old man who drowned while trying to cross an overflowing river.
The department’s Lennox Mabaso said: “An eight-year-old in the area of Mbewunye in the Nqutu Local Municipality was struck by lightning, while a 46-year-old male drowned while trying to cross an overflowing river. We have also effected road closures on the N2 and other parts of the arterial road in the province.”
WATCH: KZN hit by heavy rain and flooding
Meanwhile, at least five hospitals have been adversely affected by the heavy rains.
King Edward, Addington, King Dinuzulu and Wentworth and Prince Mshiyeni Memorial hospitals have borne the most brunt of the storm.
KZN Health Department Spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said: “Five of our health facilities in Durban have been adversely affected by the storm. These are Prince Mshiyeni in the South of Durban, King Edward, Wentworth, Kind Dinuzulu and Addington.”
Emergency teams remain on standby throughout all affected areas.
The weather services say the storm is set to move to northern parts of KZN later on Tuesday afternoon.
Senior forecaster Puseletso Mofokeng said: “By the latter part of this afternoon we are going to have the rainfall easing off from the southern areas, although, the impact has been quite huge. Going into the evening, the main action will be in the northern coast and the adjacent interior.”
See below animation of wind speeds in KZN
Dramatic pictures are being shared on social media showing cars being swept away, people wading through knee length water and damaged to buildings, including hospitals.
Emergency teams have been responding to incidents of people being trapped in cars in the deluge.
At King Shaka International Airport, there have been no major delays in flights, cancellations, or damages due to the heavy downpours.
The airport remains fully operational.
Spokesperson Colins Naidoo said: “But we are encouraging people to be safe on the roads but try to get to the airport earlier and also to check online the status of their flight with their respective airline. And the airport is fully operational at this stage.”
Earlier EWN reported that one person was killed and another sustained serious injuries after two shipping containers fell on top of the vehicle they were travelling in on Rotterdam road in Bayhead in Durban on Tuesday morning.
ER24 said when they arrived on scene at about 11 am, they found a vehicle underneath two containers. Upon further assessment, they found two patients, both males, trapped inside the vehicle.
ER24's Ineke Van Huyssteen said: “They found a vehicle under these two containers. The two were extracted with the Jaws of Life. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done for the one patient and the patient was declared dead on the scene by another medical service, the other patient was transported to the hospital by another medical service on the scene.”
The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are not yet known to our paramedics but local authorities will be investigating the matter.
Below: Shipping containers fell on a vehicle during the KZN storm.