[UPDATE] KZN storms: 5 hospitals affected

Heavy rains and strong winds have gripped most parts of the country, causing damage in KZN, Gauteng and the Western Cape.

Cars stuck on the N2 near Umlazi, in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Supplied

DURBAN - A massive storm has hit parts of KwaZulu-Natal with the eThekwini Municipality urging residents to stay indoors until it subsides.

All roads in the southern parts of the province have been closed off.

Images of the raging storm and localised flooding have been posted on social media platforms.

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa says that disaster management teams are on standby to assist.

“We experienced a very heavy storm this morning. The winds are travelling at about 70km/h. The wind is extremely dangerous and we have asked all residents to stay indoors.”

he KwaZulu-Natal Education Department has confirmed that more than 300 schools have been affected by the storms in recent days.

Heavy rains and strong winds have gripped most parts of the country, causing damage in KZN, Gauteng and the Western Cape.

With just 13 days to go until matrics sit for final exams, the department is now assessing whether mobile classrooms are needed.

The KZN Education Department says it is investigating whether teaching has been disrupted by the recent storms that have swept across the country.

Spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said: “And if it’s true that it has been affected, it, therefore, means that as the department we have the responsibility to provide an interim intervention in the form of mobile classrooms.”

Mthethwa says depending on the extent of damage it may need to write to the head of the department to declare certain schools an emergency in order for funds to be released immediately.

“Which means that your normal tender processes will now have to be fast-tracked.”

The department says its teams are conducting assessments across the province.

At the same time, 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.”

Management at these health facilities are currently assessing the extent of the damage caused by the storm, and are doing all they can to ensure patient care and safety.

The department wishes to urge the public to be calm and understanding. It also urges people who do not have serious ailments to delay their visits to the affected hospitals.

_WATCH: KZN hit by heavy rain and flooding _