05 Aug 2016

Al Imdaad Foundation workers provide blankets, hygiene packs and snack packs to flood-hit residents of uMlazi and Isipingo.

Durban - A call has gone out for volunteers to join the search on Thursday for a Durban motorist who went missing in Monday night’s floods. Brenda Lynn Scriven, 62, of Sunningdale, had been driving home from work in the early evening. Her car was found in a Glen Anil street. Stacey Cruickshanks, co-ordinator of the Searching for Brenda Facebook group, said the group had been started to co-ordinate search efforts. “We are asking for as many people as we can to help search the uMngeni River bank. If you have a kayak, stand-up paddle board, rubber duck or if you would like to help the search on foot, we will be meeting at the green hub at Blue Lagoon at 9am. Bring gumboots and gloves, the more hands and eyes, the better the chances are of finding her,” she said. Also still missing is Musawenkosi Mnchunu, swept away by a river in uMlazi on Monday. A search and rescue team accompanied by police and sniffer dogs resumed the search on Wednesday, but made little progress because the river was in spate. Mchunu’s fiancée, Fikile Mntaka, who has been camping near the river, said she was beginning to lose hope. “They tried to go into the river, but ended up leaving when they could not find him. I don’t know if they will return tomorrow (on Thursday). This is very difficult, it would be better if they could find him so I can make peace (with what had happened),” said Mntaka. Mchunu was swept away by the river while trying to rescue a 16-year-old boy. The boy survived and is in hospital. Flood-related incidents have now claimed at least five lives in the greater Durban area: two people died in a Mayville mudslide; a man died when a wall collapsed in uMlazi; and a Chatsworth woman died when she was swept away from her car by a swollen stream. And on Wednesday morning, a municipal worker clearing puddles was struck by a lorry in Umhlatuzana Road, Clairwood. He died. Rescue Care spokesman, Garrith Jamieson, said the man had been working in a cordoned-off area. “Paramedics assessed the man, who was in his forties, and found that he had sustained multiple injuries and had unfortunately passed away.” The truck drove off. The eThekwini Municipality declined to comment because police were investigating. The municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal government on Wednesday toured the city to assess flood damage and meet families who had lost loved ones and property. eThekwini communications head, Tozi Mthethwa, said a disaster operations centre had been established to monitor emergency responses and incidents. Mthethwa said they were still quantifying the cost of the damage and that some of the worst-hit areas included uMlazi, Chatsworth and Verulam where people left homeless had been housed. MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nomusa Dube-Ncube, praised disaster management teams for their “sterling work”. Department of Transport spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, said the department was assessing damage to roads and a report would be completed today on which roads needed urgent attention. Gift of the Givers’s KZN operations manager, Salim Sayed, said they had been helping families in Ottawa and Shallcross. Needy residents had been given food parcels, blankets and warm clothing. Sayed said they would continue to help as long as possible. The Al Imdaad Foundation’s head of co-ordination, disaster response and poverty eradication, Abed Karrim, said they had gone to uMlazi and an informal settlement in Isipingo to help relief efforts. He said they found stagnant water at ankle height in Isipingo. Karrim said the organisation had provided blankets, mattresses and hygiene packs to people in uMlazi and Isipingo. He said the foundation would continue to help people in the areas affected as long as it was required. (Courtesy IOL)
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