KZN floods: Read these stories about the scale, science and economic impact of the devastation
There have been drownings, landslides, power outages, water shortages and flooding of infrastructure as continuous rainfall has been battering KZN since Monday.
After days of constant rain, KwaZulu-Natal’s infrastructure, which has been under strain from years of under-investment and poor maintenance, buckled. This led to a number of drownings, landslides, power outages, water shortages and flooding of bridges, homes and businesses.
We compiled a list of articles to help you understand the scale of the humanitarian crisis, the damage to the province’s economy and the science behind the extreme weather.
Photos show the scale and impact of the recent flooding in and around Durban.
As the floodwaters slowly recede, the dead are being found. They are grandmothers, swept away while clutching a grandchild, and mothers who risked all to provide for their children.
Just hours after President Cyril Ramaphosa ended his tour of eThekwini on Wednesday, the flooding in KwaZulu-Natal was declared a provincial disaster and gazetted as such by Dr Mmaphaka Tau, head of the National Disaster Centre.
Durban floods are a massive wake-up call: A deadly combination of climate change, corruption and ineptitude
Weather events like this week’s Durban floods are just the beginning, and freak weather phenomena such as this will become much more commonplace. Perhaps the most crucial question is how we combat this, writes Prof Tshilidzi Marwala.
Civil society and humanitarian groups have called for urgent interventions in areas affected by flooding in KwaZulu-Natal, particularly informal settlements. While residents prepare for a potential further deluge, many have been left without access to water and electricity.
Scores of people have died, suburban walls have collapsed, vehicles have ploughed into newly formed sinkholes, cemeteries have flooded and many businesses have closed temporarily.
Adding to the complexity, rescue teams across the city are cut off from each other, with major thoroughfares completely flooded, roads washed away and some bridges nearing collapse.
Just as businesses and residents were finding their feet after July’s unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, the province was hit by torrential rains and heavy, widespread flooding.
The timing couldn’t have been worse for the province’s economy.
A “pollution control dam” designed to safely capture toxic and hazardous waste residue from the gutted UPL pesticide warehouse in Durban has overflowed, releasing an unspecified quantity of chemically contaminated wastewater into the Umhlanga River and adjoining beaches north of Durban.
Thirteen crocodiles have been recaptured north of Durban after making a break for freedom during the mayhem of the KwaZulu-Natal floods — though one of the reptiles seems to have returned of its own volition.
Ishmael Moyo, a forecaster at the South African Weather Service, said: “Currently we are observing what we call a low-pressure system… the system that has been dominating central parts of the country for the past few days.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, made a number of findings germane to current events. DM
South Africa suspended shipping at its main port in Durban after incessant heavy rains and resultant flooding damaged roads leading to the harbour.