KZN Health MEC calls on the public to come forward and identify their loved ones at Pinetown and Magwaza Maphalala(Gale) Street Medico-Legal Mortuaries

24 April 2019

To all Media/News Editors

KwaZulu-Natal HEALTH MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo has urged the relatives of the 51 people who sadly demised during the flash floods that swept through Durban on Monday night and yesterday, to come forward and begin the arduous task of identifying their mortal remains.

At Pinetown Medico-Legal Mortuary, the mortal remains of 36 people are being kept. They were taken in from Chatsworth, Malvern, Mariannhill, and surrounding areas. The Magwaza Maphalala (Gale) Street Medico-Legal Mortuary, meanwhile, is looking after the mortal remains of 15 people who were brought in from Umlazi, Reservoir Hills, Overport, Bluff and surrounding areas.

MEC Dhlomo says that the clergy, social workers will be on hand to provide counselling and other psycho-social support services for the bereaved families.

"This is an extremely difficult time, but we have put these measures in place to help our fellow compatriots to cope at this difficult time," the MEC said.

The Province of KwaZulu-Natal has experienced heavy rainfall since the start of the Easter weekend when the extreme weather contributed to the collapse of a church wall in Empangeni on Thursday, which killed 13 people.

On Monday night, the weather conditions worsened significantly across KZN and the heavy rain culminated in a loss of lives and damage to property in various parts of the province, claiming these 51 lives and leaving dozens injured and destitute.

Massive damage was inflicted on public and private infrastructure. The Provincial Government of KZN, together with EThekwini Metro and all affected municipalities, had to mount a spirited response as part of efforts to alleviate the impact of these extreme weather conditions on communities and businesses, and to bring the lives of the people affected back to normalcy.

Authorities were left with no option but to source additional capacity from uMsunduzi Municipality and iLembe District.

The extent of damage to infrastructure includes flooded and blocked roads, collapsed buildings and perimeter walls, blocked storm water drains and sewer lines, flooded buildings and households and power outages as a result of electric cable damage.

Displaced communities have had to be temporarily accommodated in community halls where they will receive emergency relief assistance.

At this stage the focus remains on recovery and the provision of relief efforts while assessments of damages are underway. – (Additional information sourced from eThekwini Municipality).

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This page last edited on 24 April, 2019

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