Three die in house collapses as heavy rains lash Durban
At least three people have died in Durban as heavy rain causes houses to collapse in northern parts of the city.
A 41-year-old man died while in bed when a landslide smashed into his and his neighbour's homes in Inanda, north of Durban, on Thursday morning.
Three-year-old twins were pulled from the rubble and treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital.
The KZN co-operative governance department confirmed that two other people had died in other incidents.
In the Inanda incident, reports received by TimesLIVE indicated that the two houses collapsed because of ongoing heavy rain.
Initially, IPSS Medical Rescue's Paul Herbst said there were “possible entrapments” in the houses.
Leon Fourie, operations manage at Life Response 24/7, who was on the scene, confirmed the incident.
“There was a mudslide on the rear-facing bank, which collapsed two houses. Three occupants in one of the homes narrowly escaped, while one 34-year-old man was entrapped while still in bed and passed away,” he said.
SAPS Search and Rescue (SAR) together with Metro Police SAR and Life Response 24/7 paramedics recovered the body of a 34-year-old man, who had been in bed under a blanket, after a mudslide collapsed his home in Inanda, north of Durban.#KZNFloods— Orrin Singh (@orrin417) December 12, 2019
Via @Liferesponse24@TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/cG5HeZdvHX
There were fears that other houses in the area could also collapse.
“The whole area had been cordoned off due to the structural integrity of two other houses [being compromised] and further mudslides are expected there,” he said.
An inquest docket has been opened into the man's death.
There were also reports of structural collapses and flooding of roads in Queensburgh and Malvern, west of Durban, but this could not immediately be confirmed.
Acting KZN Cogta MEC Peggy Nkonyeni confirmed that in eTafuleni, north of Durban, one person died when a house collapsed. In Ngungumane, also around Inanda, a person died because of a collapsed house.
Elsewhere in KZN, people had to be evacuated as the uMzingwenya River overflowed and caused localised flooding in Umvoti, Stanger and Pongola.
“In all of these areas, residents are advised to avoid crossing low-lying bridges and areas prone to flooding. The department has also dispatched disaster management teams to all reported incidents,” Nkonyeni's department said.
Heavy rain has lashed KwaZulu-Natal since the start of the week. Nearly 20 people died in extreme weather, including flooding and at least two tornadoes, which hit the province in the past month.