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Thursday, July 25, 2024

One dead as flash floods sweep 3 vehicles off bridge in KZN

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Durban – A 28-year-old woman died while others managed to escape to higher ground after they were caught by flash floods in KwaZulu-Natal North Coast on Saturday evening, reports TimesLIVE.

Heavy rain caused flooding in various parts of the province, uprooting trees and damaging homes.

IPSS Medical Rescue were alerted to vehicles being washed off a low-lying bridge in the Nonoti area, setting in motion a rescue operation. SAPS K9 search and rescue and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) were also notified.

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“On the team’s arrival it was established that three vehicles were washed away and that three occupants, including a child, managed to escape to higher ground,” IPSS said in a statement.

“Unfortunately a 28-year-old female lost her footing and got caught in the strong-flowing water and was swept away.”

Rescuers from IPSS and NSRI searched the river for the missing woman while police K9 Dante and his handler Clinton, searched the flood plains alongside the river.

“Approximately 1km downstream, with the assistance of K9 Dante, the female’s body was located 3m up in a tree.

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“Our condolences go out to her family and friends,” said IPSS.

Co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka dispatched disaster management teams to areas across the province after overnight thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rain which uprooted trees and damaged public and private infrastructure.

The inclement weather caused flooding in Umziwabantu, Umgeni, Ndwedwe, Umvoti, Kokstad, Umzumbe, Newcastle, Ubuhlebezwe and Umzimkhulu municipalities.

“Reports received by the department indicate that a number of houses have been submerged under water due to flooding and some mud houses were totally destroyed in other areas. No fatalities have been reported in these incidents. Disaster management teams are currently assessing the extent of the damage in all of these areas,” the department said in a statement.

Hlomuka warned residents to be vigilant as weather conditions continued to pose a serious risk to human life across the province.

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“We are appealing to residents to take the necessary precautions in order to protect themselves from the number of incidents that we continue to experience. Motorists are urged to not cross low-lying bridges that are flooded. We are also appealing to parents and teachers to ensure that pupils utilise safe routes to go to school and come back,” said Hlomuka.

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