KZN family continues to search for their 3 children swept away by floods

The girls were swept away after a massive pipe understood to be part of the local water supply network smashed into their home while they were asleep.

Screengrab of containers drifting in floodwaters in KZN from video posted by Eyewitness News @ewnreporter

DURBAN - Search and rescue workers in KwaZulu-Natal are continuing to work around the clock to try and find the scores of people who went missing in the floods there earlier this month, among them three little girls who were washed away from their home when the torrential downpours first hit exactly two weeks ago on Monday.

The girls were swept away after a massive pipe understood to be part of the local water supply network smashed into their home while they were asleep.

Search and rescue teams spent a third day scouring the area on Sunday but to no avail.

Mano Gumbi had been scrimping and saving for years so she could buy her own home and move her family out of the RDP house they had been living in. And when she finally managed to achieve her goal last December, she couldn’t have been more excited.

But four months later, all that’s left of the seven-room home in Wushini, Kwangcolosi, near Hillcrest, are the front steps. And what was once a symbol of hope for a brighter future for Mano and her family, now stands only as a macabre reminder of what they’ve lost.

Mano’s daughter, Philile Gumbi, wasn’t with her mother when the floods hit. But Philile’s eight-year-old daughter, Lubanzi Gumbi, and her two nieces Asanda Cele and Slindokuhle Gumbi were.

“They were sleeping in the room when the pipe hit right into the bedroom where the water just flushed right through the whole house.”

All four of them as well as Philile’s sister, Mandisa Gumbi, who was also there at the time were washed away.

Philile said as the water took them, her mother held onto Lubanzi for as long as she could.

“But apparently there was a tree that hit my mother and that time she lost balance and my daughter got flushed like that.”

While they were badly injured, Mano and Mandisa were both rescued by local community members. The children, however, all remain missing.

Search and rescue teams worked tirelessly yesterday scouring the river that now cuts through the Gumbi family homestead. But despite their efforts, they didn't find the children and the search continues.