South Africa

PICS: KZN premier confirms five deaths in Margate flood tragedy

As KwaZulu-Natal residents pick up the pieces following devastation from floods and heavy rains, Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has confirmed that five people died in Margate.

Heavy rains left a trail of destruction in Margate and eThekwini on Sunday night, with five people confirmed to have died in the Margate area so far, according to Dube-Ncube.

Margate flood: Five people dead

Three people drowned when the vehicle they were travelling in was washed away; one person was struck by lightning; and the fifth victim fell from the roof when he was trying to stop the flooding water that was gushing through.

Meanwhile, two people were reported injured in the Umgababa area in the south of eThekwini.

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Heavy rains left a trail of destruction in Margate and eThekwini on Sunday night, with five people confirmed to have died in the Margate area so far. Picture: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
Heavy rains left a trail of destruction in Margate and eThekwini on Sunday night, with five people confirmed to have died in the Margate area so far. Picture: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government

“It saddens us that so many people’s lives were suddenly upended by the floods that swept through these communities with devastating force. We wish to inform the families of the deceased that, as the government of KwaZulu-Natal, we are with them at this hour,” the premier said.

“We will come together once again as the province and support them during this difficult period. We also share in the deep sense of loss with those whose properties and businesses were partially or completely destroyed.”

Mop-up operations

Mop-up operations are being activated in the affected areas by the Provincial Disaster Management teams who are on the ground, and Dube-Ncube said immediate measures are being taken to provide relief and assistance to those impacted by the floods.

“In the past 24 hours, two members of the executive council have been to Margate to assess the extent of damage to property and evaluate the immediate needs of the communities. They are also providing oversight on the mop-up operations as our emergency response teams are working tirelessly to provide the required aid,” she said.

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Heavy rains left a trail of destruction in Margate and eThekwini on Sunday night, with five people confirmed to have died in the Margate area so far. Picture: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
Heavy rains left a trail of destruction in Margate and eThekwini on Sunday night, with five people confirmed to have died in the Margate area so far. Picture: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government

Solidarity and support

The premier appealed for solidarity and support from all sectors of society, saying: “It is in times like these that we must come together as a community. I appeal to businesses, organisations, and individuals to lend a helping hand to our fellow citizens in Margate who are facing immense challenges in the wake of this natural disaster.”

She further urged residents to exercise extreme caution during this time and to move away from low-lying areas that are prone to disasters and not drive or walk on submerged roads and walkways.

The South African Weather Service (Saws) issued a yellow level 2 warning on Monday for severe thunderstorms with possible heavy downpours leading to localised flooding and strong damaging winds over the central and western parts of KwaZulu-Natal for Tuesday.

“Our resilience as a province is tested during these difficult moments. It is through our collective efforts and support that we can rebuild and restore hope for the affected communities. The regularity of the floods is a clear sign that, as the coastal province, we are literally in the eye of the storm.”

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Heavy rains left a trail of destruction in Margate and eThekwini on Sunday night, with five people confirmed to have died in the Margate area so far. Picture: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
Heavy rains left a trail of destruction in Margate and eThekwini on Sunday night, with five people confirmed to have died in the Margate area so far. Picture: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government