KZN floods, mudslides claim at least 23 lives - dept
Rescue teams have been deployed to several areas in the province for incidents, including mudslides.
JOHANNESBURG - The KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance Department says that 23 people have been killed in floods as the province grapples with heavy rain.
It is now a race against time as rescue services are trying to save people trapped in trees before more rain comes down.
Rescue teams have been deployed to several areas in the province for incidents including mudslides.
Homes have collapsed, while children have drowned in mudslides.
Several institutions, including schools and universities, have closed for the day.
The KZN Cooperative Governance Department's Lennox Mabaso: The MEC and the mayor are leading the team in the areas and doing assessments. It is still raining and the weather has not improved. Government has to be out there to assist the people at this time. Sixty percent rainfall and gale force winds are on the way... we are having our hands full."
Rescue Care is working along with a number of teams trying to bring people to dry land.
Spokesperson Garrith Jamieson: "Four people were killed - a family of two adults and two children. In Overport, we had a house collapse with one person killed. Three kids were washed away from a mudslide but the community managed to rescue two of them however the 15-year-old girl has passed away."
Meanwhile, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed to the Eastern Cape to help with rescue and evacuation in Port St Johns due to flooding.
Hundreds of residents have been displaced in the province.
Defence Force Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has put together a team which will help local authorities on the ground.
Spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said that the immediate focus will ensure everyone in need is rescued.
“Already there are members who are in the area and they’re quickly moving in to assist, working together with other disaster management teams that are on the ground.”