DURBAN – At least six people have died as a result of the floods that hit Durban on Tuesday.
In a statement, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health confirmed a wall had collapsed at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in uMlazi, killing two people. Earlier in the day, a police officer was killed when a container collapsed on a police van.
An 8-year-old girl was killed in Mbewunye, Nquthu when she was struck by lightning. Inthe KwaMngxangala area, also in Nquthu, a 46-year-old man drowned while crossing a river.
KZN Emergency Services spokesperson Robert McKenzie confirmed a fifth person, a 12 year old boy had been swept away in a stream and had passed away. This happened at Izingolweni, near Port Shepstone on the KZN South Coast on Tuesday afternoon.
KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the heavy rains had enormous damage to healthcare institutions in and around Durban.
“Sadly, we report that at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital a wall collapsed fatally wounding two patients in an accident that also saw other two patients incurring serious injuries,” said the MEC.
An admin block, parts of the Neonatal unit, ICU, the theatre and emergency section were damaged at the uMlazi hospital. The department reported it moved affected patients to the second floor.
At the Addington Hospital in the Durban CBD, the department confirmed the dental block, clinic and casualty ward’s roofs had been blown away.
“Other damages experienced were at its Wards F; O; 10A and 9A that were totally flooded. The Nurses Home was also affected as most it windows were blown off,” said Dhlomo.
At the RK Khan Hospital in Chatsworth, the casualty ward and resuscitation rooms were flooded.
“Patients have been moved into corridors from wards experiencing roof and window leaks,” the department said.
At the Wentworth Hospital in Wentworth, also to the south of Durban, parts of the rood at Wards A1, A2, D4 and C1, the kitchen and the ARV clinic were blown off. The phone and power lines were reported to have been disrupted. The Emergency Medical Services base, where ambulances are stationed, saw the admin and communications centre block flooded. Trees collapsed, damaging private and state cars.
At the St Aidans Hospital in Durban, the hospital was flooded.
At the King Edward Hospital in uMbilo, several wards including the pharmacy, were flooded, while at the Clairwood Hospital, the roof of the X-ray department was blown off, damaging equipment. Some medical wards were flooded.
“We thus reiterate the call for people to keep in doors as we deal with this unpredictable and dangerous natural calamity. Indeed, the Emergency Medical Services are doing the best they can and require everybody’s support,” said Dhlomo.