KZN flood death toll rises to 51

Damaged houses after heavy rains caused flooding in Marianhill, near Pinetown in KwaZulu Natal. (Reuters/Rogan Ward)

Damaged houses after heavy rains caused flooding in Marianhill, near Pinetown in KwaZulu Natal. (Reuters/Rogan Ward)

At least 51 people have been killed in flooding which has devastated parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal. This is according to Nomusa Dube-Ncube, the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Unfortunately the numbers have risen to 51. In previous years we have tried to remove people from low-lying areas,” Dube-Ncube told SA FM radio.

Heavy rains have lashed parts of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in recent days, with the southern and eastern parts of the country badly hit since Easter weekend.
The death toll jumped from 33 on Tuesday, as search and rescue teams continued to comb debris for those who might be trapped underneath landslides.

South African Defence Force personnel have been deployed to help rescue and evacuation efforts. The South African Weather Services has issued warnings of more heavy rain and gale force winds are expected.

President Cyril Ramaphosa flew in to the deluged province, returning from crisis talks in Egypt on the situations in Libya and Sudan. In a statement, Ramaphosa said: “Our hearts go out particularly to families and communities who have been directly affected by death, injury and the loss of property.

“This situation calls on all of us to pull together as a country to reach out to affected communities.”

Speaking to residents of Amanzimtoti, Ramaphosa said “more than 1 000 people who are now displaced.” The government will set aside emergency funding to help survivors rebuild their lives, Ramaphosa added.

Kiri Rupiah

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