KZN flood damage November 2019

Wednesday (13 November 2019) night’s heavy rains saw much damage caused to parts of the Zululand region, with Hluhluwe and further north appearing to be one of the hardest hit areas.    By this morning the R22 between Hluhluwe and Sodwana Bay was flooded in parts, rendering these stretches of road impassable.   There are reports that sections of the N2 near Hluhluwe are partially washed away at the edges, which led to traffic police closing portions of the road and reducing it to one lane.

One Hluhluwe farmer’s shed that houses his tractors and other heavy equipment partially collapsed.    Earlier in the week an eight-year-old child went missing in the Melmoth area and police divers, together with the K9 unit, recovered the body yesterday evening.

Today, police divers are searching for a woman who is suspected to have drowned when the vehicle in which she was travelling was washed off a low-level bridge.

According to KZN COGTA MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, the province has seen 14 deaths since the storms began on 25 October, with two fatalities this week in KZN’s interior.

Hlomuka said disaster management teams have been working around the clock assisting communities in need and have been placed on high alert in light of the SA Weather Service’s warning for this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow.

While the Richards Bay area is expected to receive between 10mm and 20mm of rain, other parts of the province could receive substantially more.

‘As the provincial government, we do not wish to see a repeat of the tragedies we saw in this province in April,’ said Hlomuka.

‘We believe we should be over-prepared rather than under-prepared because we would rather be safe than sorry when disaster strikes.’


WATCH: Mfolozi River in full flow after Wednesday’s rains


Parents are urged to contact their child’s relevant school and confirm if they will remain open or if pupils will be sent home.

Schools across the province have been advised to send home children who are not writing exams today.

The decision was made by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education which is concerned for the safety of pupils across the province.

“The Head of the Department, Dr Enock Nzama has directed that all learners who are not writing examinations today, must be released immediately to go home due to predicted bad weather conditions,” read the statement issued by the department.

The Department of Education however said that examinations must continue as normal, with the only exception being that once a learner has finished writing their exam, that they be allowed to go home immediately.

“Where possible, parents must be informed to collect their children to ensure their safe return home.”

Some North Coast schools have opted not to close their doors for the day.

However Umhlali Prep and So High pre-school are among the local schools that have decided to close.

Both schools confirmed that pupils who could not be fetched would be looked after until normal closing times.

Parents are urged to contact their child’s relevant school and confirm if they will remain open or if pupils will be sent home.

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