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A seven-year-old boy drowned while trying to cross a river following a flood at Emanyameni Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said that detectives would investigate the manner in which the child‚ who has not yet been named‚ had drowned.

Heavy rain lashed the northern region of KwaZulu-Natal leaving a trail of disaster in the region – washing away bridges‚ destroying homes‚ displacing residents and uprooting trees.

The Jozini area was particularly affected by the downpour‚ which hit on Friday‚ following a warning by the South African Weather Services (SAWS) of heavy rainfall in the northern parts of the province.

The weather service issued another alert on Monday‚ predicting severe thunderstorms and possible localised flooding as well as hail in “uMfolozi‚ uMhlathuze and Mtubatuba”.

uMkhanyakude district municipality spokesman Mdu Dlamini said a disaster management team had been deployed to the area to assist displaced residents whose homes had been flooded.

Police Search and Rescue personnel in the region remain on high alert.

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