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#DurbanStorm – Now what? Today's News


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As Durban continues to mend from a severe storm that saw gale force winds of 70-90km/h wreak havoc on the city, travellers travelling to and from the city are still unsure whether their travel arrangements will be affected.

At the time of publishing, Airports Company South Africa said operations at King Shaka International Airport were unaffected by the storm, although travellers are advised to head to the airport early as road closures and wet roads may be experienced.

While the South African Weather Service does not expect any rainfall in Durban today (October 11), travellers, visitors and residents in Durban are still fearing a return of the thunderstorms that claimed two lives yesterday.

A source at a major bank told eTNW travellers due to travel yesterday had cancelled and rescheduled their flights. “The risk of travelling on the flooded roads outweighs any business reason for travel, so we advised them to rather move their trips and meetings,” the source said. 

Large parts of eThekwini Municipality’s electricity network was severely affected by the storm, causing widespread power outages. Stores and malls closed shop, schooling was halted and companies were evacuated as residents and visitors in the city were urged by the Municipality to stay indoors and off the roads.

Travellers due to travel today have been advised to check with the airline on their flight status, the source added, while the company will monitor the state of the roads, electricity etc. “Each day will be monitored until such time as we deem Durban fit for travel,” the source said.

Managing travel in a panic

eTNW spoke to one travel manager, who preferred to remain anonymous, how their company dealt with the chaos caused by the Durban storms and how their travellers were kept informed. 

Below is their response:

We had 65 travelers in location which we tracked, no incidents were reported. We sent a bulk SMS and email to advise travelers to avoid the roads and to remain on high ground, as well as to remain as high as possible. If they were staying at a beach front hotel and advised them of the process if they required medical or security (Evacuation) assistance.

Most flights between 13h00 and 15h00 yesterday were all cancelled or delayed, so we asked the travellers via SMS and mail to check their flight status with the airline or travel management company prior to departure as we had 121 travelers due to travel to Durban between yesterday and today, so it was absolute havoc but luckily we have the right processes in place to manage events such as this.

What about you? Did the storms in Durban or Gauteng affect your travellers this week? Let us know by commenting below or emailing darisef@nowmedia.co.za.

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