Home South African KZN residents rescued after climbing onto temple roof to escape floods

KZN residents rescued after climbing onto temple roof to escape floods

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At least 20 people have lost their lives, and scores more are missing as heavy rains continue to lash KwaZulu-Natal.

Twelve people were rescued in a midnight operation in the Canelands. | Facebook

DURBAN – Emergency services were still hard at work in the early hours of Tuesday morning as they rescued families.

At least 20 people have lost their lives, and scores more are missing as heavy rains continue to lash KwaZulu-Natal.

Reaction Unit South Africa spokesperson Prem Balram said 12 people were rescued in a midnight operation in the Canelands, Verulam, north of Durban.

Balram said nine elderly residents, three children and a dog were rescued in an operation in two locations.

“Reaction officers rescued two males and a female using ropes to enter a home situated in a graveyard along the Umdloti River. The occupants were trapped at the dwelling for several hours before officers entered the home through a window and rescued the trio at approx 00.10am,” Balram said.

“Minutes later, reaction officers rescued six adults and three infants who climbed onto the roof at the Shri Siva Subramaniar Alayam Temple (Drift Temple) to escape the rising water. They were all carried out using life jackets approximately 150m to an awaiting ambulance. An officer swam back to the residence after being informed that a dog was trapped in the home.”

Seven people and two dogs rescued from a were rooftop in Verulam. | Facebook/Medi Response

In a nearby incident, Medi Response spokesperson Paul Herbst said that in the early hours of the morning, seven occupants of a house in Verulam were rescued when the water levels rose just below the roof.

“The five adults, two kids and two dogs were rescued by the Medi Response Search and Rescue division and the eThekwini Fire Department.”

“They were treated for hypothermia and taken through to a local facility to be checked out,” Herbst said.

Meanwhile, ALS Paramedics spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said they were at the scene of a house collapse in the Bonela area.

He said the incident happened at around 1.30am.

It was reported that three people were trapped inside, a mother and her two daughters.

“It is believed that a sandbank at the rear of this premises collapsed onto this house. A family of a mother, father and two daughters were inside at the time. Fortunately, the father managed to escape. However, the mother and two daughters are missing currently,” Jamieson said.

He said teams were standing by to wait for SAPS Search and Rescue to come and assist as well as disaster management.

In an update, Jamieson said they were still waiting for confirmation.

The eThekwini Fire Department arrived at the scene and assessed the situation.

“Also on Lotus Road, multiple people were entrapped and SAPS Search and Rescue are still working at the scene over there,” Jamieson said.

He said further updates would be provided.

In another incident, Marshall Security spokesperson Tyron Powell said domestic quarters at a property in Portland Place in Durban North collapsed.

“A domestic worker is trapped underneath the rubble after a retaining wall fell on top of the building. Emergency medical services arrived on the scene and are currently assessing the situation. Her condition is currently unknown,” Powell said in an update at 9pm on Monday.

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