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KZN FLOOD UPDATES | We need to prepare now for more climate crises

.The path of destruction can be clearly seen behind this house that was struck by a wall of mud and debris in the early hours of Tuesday, claiming the lives of a six-year old boy and a 21-year old. The families of the two were to distraught to speak to media.
.The path of destruction can be clearly seen behind this house that was struck by a wall of mud and debris in the early hours of Tuesday, claiming the lives of a six-year old boy and a 21-year old. The families of the two were to distraught to speak to media.
Image: Giordano Stolley

April 17 2022 - 09:00

The floods prove SA needs a whole-society plan to cope with increasing climate crises

My last memory of flooding in KwaZulu-Natal on the scale of the tragedy we have witnessed over the past week in Durban was in the spring of 1987.

I was seven, and on the first day of the floods it took me some time to understand the scale of the devastation we were witnessing, beyond the giddy excitement of learning that our parents would be collecting us from school barely two hours after our arrival. 

Information travelled more slowly in those days. It hadn’t occurred to anyone to be hugely concerned about the rainfall, until reports that the Umgeni River bridge was about to be washed away necessitated a wave of school closures in Durban North. 

April 17 2022 - 08:30

We need to prepare now for more climate crises

Devastating. Calamitous. Tragic. Words alone are inadequate to describe the scale of the horror experienced in KwaZulu-Natal this week. With more than 400 people dead, dozens still missing and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed, the floods of 2022 will go down in history as one of SA’s worst natural disasters.

All of SA will be united in expressing sympathy with the families of the victims, and trust that the rescue and recovery efforts will bring some relief to those who have suffered. For a province that endured the worst of last year’s riots and mayhem, the latest catastrophe will come as a double blow.

April 17 2022 - 07:30

KZN floods: Good news, and bad, for flood-hit homeowners

The good news for the thousands of KwaZulu-Natal homeowners whose homes were totally or party destroyed by raging floodwaters is that their insurers will most likely settle their claims.

But the bad news is they could only be paid about half of the replacement costs.

That’s because almost 80% of South Africans are underinsured by an average of 51.9% on their building and possessions, according to the country’s largest insurance valuator, Quantum Risk Assessment.

April 17 2022 - 07:15

Stranded pupils and teachers airlifted to safety after scary night

Hungry, wet, scared and with no electricity, 45 pupils and 15 teachers huddled overnight in their Molweni, north west of Pinetown school, cut off from help after a bridge was washed away by torrential rain on Tuesday.

The pupils and staff at Tholulwazi Secondary School feared for their lives — but were also panicking about their families' safety, said deputy principal Siboniso Hlengwa.

It would be 20 hours until the first sign of help eventually came — in the form of a helicopter that airlifted them to safety.

April 17 2022 - 07:00

KZN floods: Aid from around the world pours in for flood victims

South Africans have opened their hearts and wallets for the victims of the floods in KwaZulu-Natal.

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of non-governmental organisation Gift of the Givers, said support from ordinary South Africans, social media platforms, celebrities and corporates has been incredible.

“The KZN flood tragedy has brought a new sense of unity in the country. We have received calls from embassies and international organisations to support us.”

The NGO is providing helicopter accessibility, specialised equipment and funding to help search and recovery efforts.

Community members with information about missing people should send it to Mandy on 072 818 2050.

Donations can be made to: Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, account number 052137228, branch code 057525, ref KZN Floods. Deposit slips can be sent to donations@giftofthegivers.org, with a request for a Section 18A tax deductible certificate if required.

April 17 2022 - 06:50

Floods wreak huge economic toll

The devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal will be felt throughout the economy as critical logistic networks have been severely disrupted. 

This week the Durban port was closed, and while some operations have resumed the  container terminal remains largely inaccessible.

Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association, said the authorities in KwaZulu-Natal had asked that, where possible, no more trucks head for the port “until the situation has improved”.

“There are already long queues of trucks along the N3. The Mariannhill toll plaza has a backlog of 10km, all the way to Hammarsdale, and the problem is that, according to the road traffic inspectorate,  the local communities are now targeting the trucks [for looting].”

April 17 2022 - 06:35

How hard times bring out the hyenas among us

I drove out of eThekwini, leaving behind friends and family, just as a picture was beginning to emerge of the extent of the damage done by the heavy rains that had kept us all indoors for much of the weekend.

Several hours later, now back in the City of Gold, I started making calls back home, checking on everybody amid worrying reports of roads being washed away, homes swept away by floods and whole families going missing.

Fortunately for my extended family and friends, all were still safe. A few had found themselves stranded on their way back from work and school. 

April 17 2022 - 06:25

‘Their screams were drowned out by the rain’- 5 heart-wrenching stories from the KZN floods

The death toll from torrential rains that brought down brick, concrete and steel structures, cut vast swathes of land and demolished roads and bridges in its wake, was more than 340 by Friday. 

April 17 2022 - 06:15

SA is reaping the whirlwind after ignoring warnings of climate change, scientists say

Extreme weather like the catastrophic floods that hit KwaZulu-Natal is becoming increasingly common in SA because of climate change, and the country's ageing infrastructure can't cope.

Experts say they have been sounding the alarm for years but authorities have been slow to respond. They warn that these changes will affect food security, which will lead to higher food prices and ultimately more social unrest.

April 17 2022 - 06:00

Moves to prevent corruption free-for-all as KZN picks up the pieces after catastrophic floods

The government is looking at bringing in an independent agency to manage some of the billions earmarked for disaster relief in KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to avoid corruption.

Other immediate relief action includes erecting temporary residential units on stands where it is safe to rebuild damaged homes, and giving affected families R8,000 vouchers they can use to purchase building materials.

Finance minister Enoch Godongwana said on Saturday that the agency option is being discussed as a way of insulating the funds from corruption and ensuring that they are used for their intended purpose.


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