Home South African 48 people still missing after KZN floods

48 people still missing after KZN floods

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As KwaZulu-Natal residents continue to search for missing loved ones since the recent destructive floods, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) confirmed on Wednesday that 48 people were still missing.

Rescue teams search for the body of Zandile Magwaza in KwaSanti outside Pinetown, Durban following the floods that battered KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN – As KwaZulu-Natal residents continue to search for missing loved ones since the recent destructive floods, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) confirmed on Wednesday that 48 people were still missing.

The flooding claimed 445 lives, 386 of which were from eThekwini alone, Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka said during a briefing.

Thirty-one people from the Ilembe district, seven from Ugu, four from King Cetshwayo, three from Harry Gwala, two from uMgungundlovu and two from uMzinyathi are still missing.

So far 748 search operations have been conducted and over 168 rescues completed.

Despite assessments into the damages still under way, Hlomuka said damages to both the private and public sector during the floods amounted to R25 billion.

The flooding started around April 11, following a weekend of consistent heavy rainfall. Across parts of the province, weather agencies confirmed that over 200mm of rain fell within a space of 24 hours.

The floods knocked out all major infrastructure, leaving residents in the region without water and electricity for almost two weeks as the city tried to restore some form of normalcy.

“As a co-ordinating department, we at KZN Cogta have been at the forefront of efforts to mitigate the impact of the floods on our communities and businesses. With the national Cabinet declaring a national state of disaster, we have amassed significant resources, some of which are already being deployed on the ground to help those most in need of assistance: water tankers, emergency shelters, food parcels or technical and medical assistance.

“Disaster Management teams are still on the ground and continue to provide support for relief purposes and are searching for the missing. The deployment of the South African National Defence Force has helped these efforts greatly,” Hlomuka said.

Lindani Zungu, 21, from the Inanda area, just north of Durban, has been searching for a month for his five relatives. He said they dug around the rubble for two weeks before rescue teams showed up, but they too, were unsuccessful.

He said on Wednesday that the search continues.

“There is no progress that has been made so far. There were those that came but were unlucky so we were requesting an excavator or something like that to help us dig through the rubble.

“We have been digging for two weeks, I don’t think we can dig anymore,” Zungu said.

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