WARNING: Beaches north of Durban are closed due to chemical spillage
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The EThekwini Municipality said on Saturday that beaches north of Durban are closed to the public until further notice.
“The EThekwini Municipality with advice from KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has decided to close the beaches north of uMgeni estuary due to the environmental and potential human health impacts of a chemical spillage into the Umhlanga Lagoon”.
This means that the he closure would affect Beachwood, Virginia, Glenashley, La Lucia, Umhlanga Main and Bronze, Umdloti, La Mercy and Tongaat beaches, and it should be noted that the closure is inclusive of tidal pools.
“Authorities are engaging with other local municipalities further north as a precautionary measure,” according to a statement.
The public are advised to avoid the beach area at this time until it is deemed safe.
According to the KZN municipality, “extensive environmental impacts are being reported at uMhlanga and uMdhloti Lagoons and beaches in the vicinity, that have killed numerous species of marine and bird life”.
“The pollution is considered serious and can affect one’s health if species are collected and consumed. Lagoon and seawater contact must be avoided.”
“As such, the public is advised to cease all activity on the above-mentioned beaches.”
The statement noted, that clean up companies are trying to deal with the spill, which originated from a chemical warehouse fire in Umhlanga, following this past week's unrest.
It should be noted that other potential pollution sources are being investigated. Authorities are monitoring the situation closely.
Some residents in areas north of Durban are also reporting smoke residue from the already burned chemical products. The public can only smell it from time to time depending on the wind direction as it dissipates. Residents are advised to close windows and doors and put wet cloths over vents until smoke clears as a precautionary measure.
Please report any further pollution in the waterways or sea to the Emergency number 031 3610000.