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September 30, 2023

Incessant rainfall washes away containers at South Africa’s Durban port

 By Priti Naik

Heavy rainfall in more than six decades with resultant flooding in Durban, South Africa washed away many containers. South Africa’s largest logistics and freight operator Transnet, which runs the Durban port, has suspended operations across its terminals since 11 April.

In a statement, Transnet said, “shipping has been suspended until further notice as a result of damage caused by the adverse weather, and vessels on berth are on standby.” Transnet added that its Richards Bay ports, as well as rail lines in some parts of the KwaZulu-Natal province, are operating at “limited capacity” as a result of flooding.

“Transnet Freight Rail’s engineering teams will assess the extent of the damage, before full operations can resume,” noted the company.

The local media in Durban reported that at least 45 people lost their lives and a dozen of them are missing. Meanwhile, there are several posts on Twitter saying that people are looting and stealing whatever they can find at destroyed boxes and storage facilities.

SA Weather Service (SAWS) has increased weather warnings to level 9. “We are upgrading the KZN weather warning, which means that there is a medium likelihood of severe impacts to occur. Rainfall has cleared over most parts of the province, except the south coast. The Orange Level 9 weather warning is valid for Ugu and eThekwini district municipalities,” stated SAWS.

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