Home News Unified Response to KZN Tornado Relief

Unified Response to KZN Tornado Relief

by Thaabit Kamaar


Durban – Following the tornado that ravaged multiple areas in KwaZulu-Natal, causing extensive damage to homes, schools, and infrastructure, there have been 11 fatalities across the affected regions. Many more have been injured, reportedly due to the collapse of buildings and other related causes.

Earlier this week, social media was flooded with images and videos showing the size and trajectory of the tornado, which caused destruction wherever it went. The footage revealed the tornado tearing through communities with devastating force, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Al-Imdaad Foundation representative Abed Karim indicated that various areas in KwaZulu-Natal were affected. Still, those surrounding the Tongaat area are among the worst.

Tongaat itself suffered extensive damage. Homes were destroyed, power lines were downed, and entire communities were left without shelter.

The impact has been severe, with over a thousand families rendered homeless and countless others displaced. Karim stated that the scenes depicted on social media do not compare to the realities on the ground. The damage caused is overwhelming and unbelievable.

“We were in Tongaat doing assessments. NGOs and local people were helping the community. We have found on the ground that in any tornado, the first things that go are your water and electricity. Your roofs are blown apart. Trees are torn apart. If you look at some of the trees, you’ll think somebody took a chopper and chopped those trees. Roads were blocked.”

“People were just standing there, not knowing which side to turn, where to move, what to do. And now the reality on the ground is hitting, and when I say the reality, people are asking exactly where we pick up the pieces and where we start from.”

The destruction has shocked communities, with the recovery process just beginning. Considering the extent of the damage, it may take a considerable amount of time before normalcy is restored.

SMread| MKP snubs desperate ANC as coalition talks underway

Collective Efforts to Help People affected by this Disaster

Karim noted that aiding these communities will necessitate the combined efforts of everyone and all organisations on the ground. Relief organisations, including the Al-Imdaad Foundation, have mobilised to provide immediate assistance.

Volunteers are distributing essential supplies such as food, water, and blankets. At the same time, temporary shelters have been set up for those who have lost their homes.

“Infrastructure is a big problem. You cannot cross certain areas because of the road. There is a combination of different sectoral departments, including us as the NGO sector, civil society, and businesses. Everybody has to put their hands [together and] assist these communities because I can talk to you on the phone and tell you it’s terrible, but when you get there, you will then see the impact and devastation of this tornado that took place for a matter of an hour or two.”

Disaster management teams and NGOs are working in tandem to restore essential services such as electricity and water, clear debris, and implement a comprehensive response plan. This structured approach is aimed at addressing both the immediate and long-term needs of the affected communities.

However, Karim pointed out that disaster management officials cannot handle the vast scale of the destruction, stressing the necessity for comprehensive support from all sectors.

Related Videos