Severe winds that battered the region over the previous weekend have resulted in the destruction of approximately 130 residences and the disruption of more than 700 individuals’ lives.
KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (KZN CoGTA) have reported that relief efforts are now underway following the havoc wreaked by these powerful winds across three municipalities within the Zululand District on Friday, 25 August 2023.
In response to the calamitous aftermath of the severe winds, KZN CoGTA noted that the Provincial Disaster Management team has launched relief operations to aid those affected. The distress calls following the devastation prompted drastic action from the disaster teams operating under the Zululand District Municipality.
The destructive winds, which have rendered hundreds of people homeless in various districts, significantly impacted homes in the Abaqulusi (Vryheid) Local Municipality, Ulundi Local Municipality, and eDumbe Local Municipality. Among the affected structures, two educational institutions, Mongowenzeni Primary, and Bantubaningi High, also suffered damages.
Preliminary assessments carried out by the response teams reveal that the three municipalities have witnessed the destruction of over 130 houses, 22 of which have been completely levelled.
The incident has also had a profound impact on more than 700 individuals, though only four of them currently find themselves without proper shelter.
The affected individuals have sought temporary refuge with their relatives. Thankfully, there have been no reported fatalities.
Since the onset of the winds last Friday, the onsite disaster teams have been diligently providing assistance to the affected populace. Their efforts have included the distribution of crucial relief supplies such as blankets, food parcels, and plastic sheets.
Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, the MEC for KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, has expressed her heartfelt condolences to all the victims who experienced losses. She further praised the disaster teams for their swift and efficient response, as well as the assistance they have extended.
“It is regrettable that the prolonged adverse weather patterns have led to significant damages, including the complete destruction of some homes. Our heartfelt condolences go out to all those who have lost their properties. As a department, we have coordinated efforts with other departments and social partners, including Social Development, Education, and Human Settlements, to offer assistance where needed. Our disaster teams will complete assessments and profiles to determine the appropriate governmental intervention,” said MEC Sithole-Moloi.
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