On Sunday, the residents of Polar Park informal settlement in Kuyga, Gqeberha, found themselves in a dire situation as torrential storms struck the area. The South African Weather Service issued a disruptive weather warning, prompting the activation of a joint operating centre to respond to disaster-related reports.
Henry Lansdown, the Acting Head of Disaster Management, stated that Kuyga was the only area requiring intervention on that day. The response efforts began at around 6 p.m., with 112 residents being evacuated and provided with 112 mattresses and 224 blankets for their temporary accommodation.
By Monday morning, the residents had safely returned to their homes after spending the night in a community hall. Lansdown expressed relief as the sun started to shine, which would aid in the cleanup of the flooded homes. However, he emphasized the ongoing monitoring of the situation and assured continued assistance to those in need.
Special teams have been deployed to attend to damaged infrastructure and clear roads blocked by fallen trees. Lansdown urged the residents to cooperate during this time and be patient, as some of the cleanup work is dependent on favourable weather conditions. The electricity and roads teams are already on the ground, ready to address all reported issues promptly.
Assessments are currently underway in other affected areas, including Motherwell.
Damages caused by extensive rains in Gqeberha last night. The area of Kuyga was evacuated last night and residents returned home this morning to find all their belongings washed away. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/WyGfDL45rz
— KimmyKool (@KimDanieLs09) September 25, 2023