Rescue workers yesterday dug through collapsed buildings along South Africa’s eastern coast, where more than 50 people were killed when heavy rain caused flooding and mudslides.
Hundreds have been displaced, mainly in the port city of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal province. Flooding also killed at least three people in Eastern Cape province, state broadcaster SABC said yesterday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa visited affected communities in KwaZulu-Natal and is scheduled to go to the Eastern Cape in the next few days. Advertisement “This is partly what climate change is about, that it just hits when we least expect it,” he said, adding that funds would be provided by the government to assist those hit by the floods.
The region had been hit by heavy rains for days, but authorities did not foresee the downpour late on Monday, said Lennox Mabaso, a spokesman for the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department.
“As a result, there was flooding and some structures were undermined and collapsed on people,” Mabaso said. Some people were swept away by the water, he said. Multiple dwellings collapsed in the mudslides, said Robert McKenzie, a KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesman.