At least six dead as heavy rains batter Durban

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Durban – At least six people have died, hundreds of homes damages and several roads leading into the city were flooded after heavy rain battered Durban overnight.

The death toll in the Easter weekend storm over KwaZulu-Natal may still rise as it is still being tallied by emergency services and police on Tuesday. 

Police search and rescue, emergency services and private ambulance services were busy throughout the weekend. 

Rescue workers have their hands full out on the field with some describing it as an absolute disaster with many terrible tragedies; houses and walls collapsed. 

IPSS Medical Rescue in  a statement on Tuesday said various rescue organisations spent the entire night assisting in the greater Durban area with flooding.

"Multiple structural collapse have left at least six people dead and many more missing and buried under mud and debris. IPSS Medical crews together with other agencies are still out preforming search & rescue operations. The greater Durban area is severely flooded. We urge all motorists to be cautious". 

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Several roads in Durban were flooded on Tuesday after heavy rains pounded the city. Here cars are stuck at in intersection in Pinetown. Picture: Blue Security.

In Ellen Road, Queensburgh, four people died when an embankment collapsed onto a house on Tuesday.  

Sivan Subramodey, of Amawele Emergency Services, confirmed that four people were dead including a six-month-old baby. 

Three people are believed to be missing. 

Two people, one with a broken leg and the other with a hip injury were transported to hospital. Three people are still missing

Subramodey said neighbours and relatives came to assist and gave them an indication of how many people could be in the house. 

"It was a devastating scene. A similar incident occurred in Westcliff but we could not get into the premises because of the mud. An embankment collapsed onto the staff quarters at a school. It was too dangerous," he said. 

Garrith Jamieson, a spokesperson, for Rescue Care paramedics, said a 70-year-old woman was stuck under rubble when her West Road home in Overport collapsed.  Her son, who was in another room, died. 

In Stapleton Road, Pinetown one person died when cars were washed away. 

Mike Meyers, a spokesperson for Mobi-Claw 911 advised people to stay off the roads because emergency services are under massive pressure attending to flood-related life-threatening emergencies. 

He said, "This pressure is being exaggerated by people insisting on driving and getting themselves into unsafe situations."

Roads that were reported as flooded were the M7 between Belville Bridge and North Park Road, Higginson Highway in Chatsworth, Isipingo Beach by Prospecton, N2 north opposite Galleria mall until Umlazi offramp and Kingsway in Amanzimtoti.

There were reports of trees falling and mudslides blocking roads in suburbs, making it impossible for people to get to work. 

On St Helier Road in Hillcrest, a woman escaped unharmed when mud began flowing down an embankment and covered her car. The mud was waist deep. 

In Umhlatuzana the river has burst its bank, covering the bridge and flooding homes in Kharwastan. The road near the Shallcross Stadium was also blocked by a landslide. 

The road surface on Silverglen Drive between Grasmere Avenue and Berryfield Place had collapsed while the road leading to King Edward Hospital was flooded in the Umbilo area.  

Robert Mckenzie, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesperson, also warned people not to send hoax messages and old pictures of the flood from October. 

"It was a busy Monday with peak traffic of holidaymakers. Crashes across the province on the N3 and poor visibility was reported," he said. 

Last night (Monday) a 14-year old girl died and nine others were injured when five cars collided on the N3 southbound near Inchanga said Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst. 

Several schools in Durban were closed because access roads to them were blocked due to flooding. 

Daily News

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