South African floods: Death toll reaches 443, made worse by mudslides

Stranded people stand in front of a bridge that was swept away in Ntuzuma, outside Durban, South Africa, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (Photo: AP)

South African authorities confirmed on Sunday that at least 443 people have died due to flooding and mudslides in the KwaZulu-Natal region following severe rains.

During a news conference, Premier Sihle Zikalala of KwaZulu-Natal said 63 residents remain missing, describing the calamity as one of the worst in the province's history.

"We express our condolences to all those who have lost relatives and friends in the floods that have ravaged KwaZulu-Natal," Zikalala wrote on Facebook over the weekend. "As a government, we will do everything possible to assist our communities in mourning the loss of family and friends."

According to Reuters, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has postponed an official visit to Saudi Arabia to focus on the natural disaster. He intends to meet with cabinet members to assess the damage.

Storms and flooding have displaced thousands of residents, disrupted power and water supplies, and slowed Durban's primary port operations.

Residents of KwaZulu-Natal told Reuters they are still afraid of further rain falling on the region and have given up hope of finding relatives in the aftermath of the disaster.

Africa's southeastern coast is likely to be severely impacted by climate change in the coming decades, with more violent storms and flooding.

Publish : 2022-04-18 11:38:00

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