Rescue workers on the scene of a mud slide which caused a home in Malvern, Durban, to collapse. The bodies of four people - two adults and two children - were recovered. Picture: RESCUE CARE
Rescue workers on the scene of a mud slide which caused a home in Malvern, Durban, to collapse. The bodies of four people - two adults and two children - were recovered. Picture: RESCUE CARE

Emergency rescue and medical services worked through the night in the wake of torrential rains which pounded parts of KwaZulu-Natal overnight, claiming several lives and leaving devastation in its wake. 

The torrential downpours led to the evacuation of residents in the town of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape.

Five people were confirmed dead and dozens injured after their homes collapsed during flooding and mudslides in Durban.

Rescue Care’s Garrith Jamieson said emergency teams comprising SA Police Service officers, Metro search and rescue, IPSS medical rescue, the fire department and Rescue Care, were responding to multiple call-outs of structural collapses in areas around Durban.

Rescue teams recovered four bodies — two adults and two children — from a home in Ellen Road, Malvern, which collapsed after a mudslide. 

Emergency workers rescued a woman in her 70s after she was trapped for two hours under rubble when her Overport home collapsed. Her son, in his 20s, succumbed to injuries as a result of the collapse.

Emergency rescue teams worked for about two hours to rescue a woman in her 70s who had been trapped under rubble after her home collapsed in torrential rains. Her son, who was in the next room, died as a result of his injuries. Picture: RESCUE CARE
Emergency rescue teams worked for about two hours to rescue a woman in her 70s who had been trapped under rubble after her home collapsed in torrential rains. Her son, who was in the next room, died as a result of his injuries. Picture: RESCUE CARE

There were reports of informal settlements in Chatsworth and roads being washed away.

In the Eastern Cape, homes were flooded and residents were evacuated overnight after heavy downpours.

The Daily Dispatch reported that gravel roads in Coffee Bay were washed away and 10 guests from the popular Ocean View hotel had to have their vehicles towed after they got stuck in the mud. The hotel’s general manager, Marco Oosthuizen, told the paper 120mm of rain had been recorded.

Women and children were evacuated from the heavily flooded Green Farm in Port St Johns. Flash floods affected low-lying areas as the Mzimvubu River burst its banks, the SABC reported. 

Port St Johns municipality speaker Ayanda Gantsho said residents had been taken to safety at the town hall and churches.

Heavy rains also fell in Johannesburg continuing into Tuesday, making driving conditions dangerous.