The number of people who have lost their lives in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) floods has risen to 398, while 27 other people remain unaccounted for. This is according to KZN COGTA MEC Sipho Hlomuka.
Heavy rainfall has left behind a trail of destruction in recent days, prompting government to declare a state of disaster in KZN. More than 4 000 homes and other infrastructure have been damaged or washed away.
The Department of Water and Sanitation will be assisting the affected municipalities with tankering of water to communities without water.
“The department has reprioritized R45 million to provide 80 freshwater tankers to the three affected municipalities. These water tankers will supplement the municipalities’ own water tankers, which they are currently using to provide water to communities without water”
KZN COGTA MEC Sipho Hlomuka
MOP-UP OPERATIONS UNDERWAY IN KZN
In addition, mop-up operations and the repairing of damaged infrastructure commenced in the areas affected by the floods in KZN.
“These repairs and mop-up operations are crucial in efforts to restore access to communities, so that our disaster management teams can gain access to the communities most affected. The inaccessibility of areas puts an additional strain on rescue efforts,” Hlomuka said.
Rescue efforts have been hampered by the fact that some areas are not accessible, but provincial government says the National Ports Authority has been able to open an alternative route to the Durban Port, on Bayhead Road, for the transportation of essential items such as fuel and food.
Disaster management teams are also still assessing the extent of damage, but KZN Economic Development MEC Ravi Pillay has said the floods have cost the province billions.