The beachfront areas were pounded by massive surf in the early hours of Monday morning leaving the city's famed Golden Mile littered with debris as emergency services rescued numerous people. The SA Weather Service in Durban said winds in excess of 40 knots [80km/h or gale force] were reported on Sunday night. All beaches and ports were closed on Monday after the South African Weather Service issued a national warning that high seas with wave heights in excess of seven metres are expected along the southern KwaZulu-Natal coastline.
On Durban's beachfront, some restaurants and shops were damaged after two freak waves "roughly three metres high" struck between 2 and 3am.Steers, Wimpy, Wrap It up, Milky Lane and other shops were battered. When the Daily News visited the area, owners and inspectors were inspecting the damages.Windows were shattered and doors were completely broken down. Fourteen workers who were trapped inside the restaurants were rescued by emergency services and taken to various hospitals. Steers, one of the restaurants hit, which is situated about 20m from where the beach sand begins, incurred damages of about R1m.
In Ballito (about 20 min up the north coast from Durban), Daily News readers reported that 10 houses had extensive damage, with one beach house found with trees in its lounge. Security gates, retaining walls and walls had all been washed away, leaving the houses exposed to the elements.
Residents on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline are bracing themselves for massive tidal waves expected early tomorrow morning. The area has already been pounded by huge waves, said to be 10m high. Umhlanga, Ballito, the Durban beachfront, Isipingo and Umkomaas were among the areas affected.
My prayers are with everyone who has suffered in this storm & with the families of those who have been lost, nay they find peace.