Disaster strikes twice

Rajan Bholai's property was completely destroyed. Picture: Yoshini Perumal

Rajan Bholai's property was completely destroyed. Picture: Yoshini Perumal

Published Jun 8, 2024


STILL in the process of rebuilding his home after the April 2022 floods, Rajan Bholai, 67, said he could not believe his eyes when he returned to his Fairbreeze home, which had been decimated by Monday night’s tornado.

He said he did not expect a second natural disaster, “especially a tornado” to hit his community so soon.

Bholai’s home is not insured as he is in the process of rebuilding after the last floods. He was planning to get insurance once this was completed.

Bholai said when he arrived home after work on Monday, his community and home looked like the scene of a movie.

“Driving through the streets of Tongaat seemed surreal. There was complete destruction everywhere. These are things that we have only seen in the movies. I was shocked and stressed out by the tornado. I think this was a first for Durban. My roof had blown away. The windows had been sucked up by the tornado. Trees were uprooted and it blocked off access to my home,” he said.

Bholai had two steel storage containers on his property and that too was uplifted and flung across his yard. The vehicles parked in his yard were also badly damaged.

Despite the damage to his own home, Bholai said he was on the ground assisting others who needed help. He said his heart went out to the elderly residents, who were in distress.

“We helped whoever we could help. The spirit of community was truly amazing,” he said.

Bholai added that when the floods caused devastation, he thought that would be the worst natural disaster he would live through.

“The floods had caused major damage. Our home was flooded and water was at the height of our ceiling. We lost everything, including furniture, personal belongings, clothes, and appliances. After the floods, I relocated my two daughters as I feared for their safety. Now, I have lost everything again. I too would have to move in with my daughters until I decide how I can rebuild our home,” Bholai added.