The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in KwaZulu-Natal has reported the unfortunate loss of four lives in Mtubatuba. This tragedy occurred as a result of severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall that caused significant disruption in the northern regions of the province.
Weather Warnings Issued
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) had previously issued an orange level 6 warning, anticipating disruptive rainfall and severe thunderstorms in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.
Impact of the Storms
Siboniso Mngadi, the spokesperson for KZN COGTA, confirmed that at least four individuals lost their lives due to a thunderstorm accompanied by strong winds in Mtubatuba. The storm caused extensive damage, tearing roofs off houses and damaging infrastructure such as power cables, roads, bridges, and vehicles.
More than 70 houses in Somkhele and KwaMyeki areas in Mtubatuba have been identified as destroyed. Some houses suffered complete damage, rendering families homeless. Community halls and churches have opened their doors to the public, while others have sought alternative accommodation with relatives. There are also reports of damaged vehicles, and in certain areas, Eskom poles and cables are scattered across roads and people’s properties.
Other Affected Areas
In the Harry Gwala District, the Greater Kokstad Municipality experienced heavy rains and a hailstorm in Pakkies Location. Approximately six households were affected, with no reported fatalities, injuries, or displaced individuals.
In Umzimkhulu Municipality, heavy rains in Madakeni location affected four households, with no fatalities reported at this stage. In the Umgungundlovu District, about 23 households in the Rosetta Informal settlement under Mpofana Local Municipality were affected by the hailstorm last night.
In Ulundi, under Zululand District Municipality, a block of rental rooms was blown away by strong winds last night, with no reported injuries.
KwaZulu-Natal COGTA MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi has conveyed her sincere condolences to the families and friends during this challenging period. She emphasized that disaster management teams will continue on-site assessments and provide relief, including mattresses, blankets, food, and plastic sheeting.