Durban gets hi-tech disaster centre

2011-04-01 13:12

Durban - A high-tech facility officially opened in Durban on Friday will help the city respond quickly to disasters, said KwaZulu-Natal cooperative governance MEC Nomusa Dube.

“It will be used as a rapid response centre to ensure that we provide necessary protection to all our communities, and do so much more swiftly,” Dube said during the official opening.

Many people living in informal settlements die in floods, storms and fires simply because rescue teams are unable to identify the exact location of incidents in time for them to provide safety.

“But now this centre consists of state-of-the art equipment, including a CCTV camera monitoring system that should enable close monitoring of all the areas,” she said.

The equipment will ensure that teams are dispatched immediately to rescue people before it is too late.

Rapidly increasing disaster incidents in KwaZulu-Natal had prompted the provincial government to augment its support to the disaster management centres located in the 10 district municipalities.

“It will be remembered that more than 100 people have recently lost their lives as a result of disasters in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, with eThekwini's death toll having numbered well over 70,” she said.

The centre was used during the Soccer World Cup and was recently upgraded with additional provincial funding and international expertise.

The centre will work closely with the provincial disaster management centre and the Weather Bureau.