At least 253 people have been killed in the worst floods in the country

At least 253 people have been killed in floods in recent days off the east coast of South Africa, according to a latest report released by local authorities on Wednesday, April 13th. According to a representative of the health department of the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the bodies continue to flow into the morgue, while dozens of people are still missing.

Dilapidated bridges, submerged roads … Landslides have wreaked havoc near the large port city of Durban, which has become the epicenter of the disaster. “In forty-eight hours, more than 450 mm of water fell in some areas.”, Forecaster Dipuo Dhawana told AFP. Meteorologists compared the rainfall “Usually associated with storms”.

On April 13, 2022, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the poorer suburb of Durban, Clermont.

“We see similar tragedies in countries like Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but today we are affected.”, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa mourned Wednesday morning for grieving families in the poor suburb of Durban. Local authorities are calling for a natural disaster situation to be declared.

“Climate change is getting worse”

The army was mobilized to provide air support during the evacuation. Thousands of homes were destroyed and at least 140 schools were affected, according to local officials. Many roads have been cut off due to bad weather. Operation at port was suspended and containers washed. Authorities said it was looted.

Heavy rains cut off electricity and cut off drinking water supply. Train connections have been cut off and residents have been told to avoid traveling.

“We know that climate change is getting worse, from the severe storms of 2017 to the unprecedented floods of 2019, but today it is clearly past 2022.”, Mary Calvin, warned Professor of Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. By 2019, floods in the region and the neighboring Eastern Cape have already claimed 70 lives and destroyed many coastal villages in landslides.

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Le Monde and AFP

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