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Parts of KwaZulu-Natal had five months' worth of rain yesterday – with more to come

Business Insider SA
The Duzi River overflowing in College Road, Pietermaritzburg. Sakhiseni Nxumalo
The Duzi River overflowing in College Road, Pietermaritzburg. Sakhiseni Nxumalo
  • A weather station in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Monday broke its rainfall record in spectacular fashion.
  • It recorded more than a fifth of a metre of rain on the day, more than three times the previous high.
  • That is five times as much rain as fell there in the whole of March.
  • KwaZulu-Natal is forecast to see more rain today, as flooded rivers wreak havoc.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

UPDATE | KZN saw eight new rain records on Tuesday, with Margate doubling a high set 25 years ago

On Monday, 11 April, more than a fifth of a metre of rain fell at Mbazwana, in north KwaZulu-Natal just about 100km south of the Mozambique border, according to preliminary data from the SA Weather Service's observation station there. 

The 206.4mm of rain measured at the Mbazwana Airfield station obliterated its previous record, at nearly three times the 62.6mm that had been on its books. 

It was not the only station to set a new record. Further south, in Riverview, close to St Lucia, another station measured 126.8mm of rain over 24 hours, compared to its previous maximum of 114mm.

For both stations, Monday alone saw more rain than would typically fall over several months.

For Mbazwana, the preliminary rainfall number on Monday on is more than five times higher than all the rain recorded there in March. At Riverview, four times as much rain fell on Monday as in March.

Across the rest of the province, much less rain fell. Early rainfall observations for spots in the rest of the province on Monday came in at:

  • 63mm at Pennington South, on the South Coast
  • 40mm in Virginia just outside Durban
  • 25mm in Greytown in the interior

The wet weather is expected to lift around much of the country on Tuesday, the SA Weather Service says – but not in KwaZulu-Natal, where flood warnings remain in place.

Shipping containers have floated away, and trucks stranded on highways looted, News24 reported on Tuesday morning, as Durban was hit by heavy flooding.

Authorities were still trying to assess damage, and emergency services said they were overwhelmed by reports of collapsed houses, landslides, and washed-away roads.

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