KwaZulu-Natal Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube, on the Tropinal Cyclone Irina
4 Mar 2012
Cyclone Irina appears to have had its first bite at human life as its rainstorm effects gain momentum this afternoon - four men are reported to have drowned in flooded rivers in the northern region of KwaZulu-Natal.
One of them drowned while trying to cross the Wela River at Nhlwathi area in the Hlabisa Municipality, while the other three drowned at Enkovukeni river in the Shikishela area within Mtubatuba municipality.
Fortunately, divers who had been put on standby as part of the Joint Rescue Operations plan of the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal are currently scouring the rivers for bodies.
"We continue to warn people to avoid crossing rivers. Even if you feel you are a great swimmer and no matter what business you need to rush to, nothing can replace the value of human life. To your relatives you mean far more than you may think. We have advised people to try and stay in doors for as long as these unusually heavy rainfalls continue. We have been warned that they will intensify later today," says MEC Nomusa Dube, who has been saddened by the reports of drownings.
Meanwhile, motorists are being warned that parts of the N3 and N2 freeways are flooded.
"Drive out there only when it is unavoidable to do so. While we have traffic officers out on patrol, what may happen is that you may find some parts of the roads impassable or you may risk your life. Let us try and stay indoors," says MEC Dube.
"Yes our disasters and emergency officers are out to help rescue people, but we are warning people that they must also meet us halfway by heeding the warnings that we issue," she says.
"We also want to intensify our community awareness campaign so that there is no resistance when we advise people to evacuate danger zones. On this note, we are meeting at 16h00 this afternoon with traditional leaders and community workers and mayors and councillors to ensure that we all speak in one voice and speak as loud as we possibly can."
Cell: 082 474 1882
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
4 Mar 2012
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