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Durban running back up to 80% following devastating storm

Things are slowly but surely getting back to normal at South Africa’s largest port following a devastating storm which hit the coast around KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday.

The storm caused a halt to vessel movements with ships grounded and containers blown into the sea.

On Wednesday, Transnet National Ports Authority deemed 80% of the navigable area of the port safe for marine operations. However, sounding surveys declared that there was slight obstruction on the seabed that could pose a risk to navigation.

The port operator said: “In the interest of ensuring safe navigation of vessels, operations have commenced in channels that are clear from obstruction.”

Shulami Qalinge, TNPA chief executive shared her gratitude to those who have helped the coast recover: “We are extremely appreciative of the excellent collaboration between TNPA and various stakeholders, who acted quickly and efficiently to partially restore normality at the port. Our immediate focus is to continue with the implementation of the recovery operations.”

TNPA revealed their business continuity plan would continue in place until they had “restored normality.” The marine operations were expected to resume midday on Thursday, local time, pending on the result of the sounding surveys currently in check.

Sources including the likes of Reuters had reported on three vessels that had been grounded outside the port, containers that had been blown into the sea by the storm, and numerous mooring lines that had been broken.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial officials confirmed on Wednesday that the severity of the storm left at least eight people dead, and further reports of residents missing. 

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