In South Africa, the military has sent more than 10,000 troops to the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, where heavy rains and devastating floods have hit. The death toll has now risen to 443; 63 people are still missing. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday declared a national disaster.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national disaster last night following devastating floods. At least 443 people were killed, while dozens of people are still missing.
Both the army and the police are involved in the search for missing persons. The army is now also being used for clearing and repair works and transporting goods in the province. Several regions have been without water and electricity for a week. Some communities have also been cut off completely as roads and bridges collapsed. More than 300 schools and some health facilities were also damaged.
KwaZulu-Natal Prime Minister Sihle Zikalala said nearly 4,000 homes were destroyed and more than 8,000 damaged. Homes have been hit particularly hard in the region around the city of Durban. According to the president, “about 40,000 people have destroyed their lives” by the mudslides.
The president said no expense would be spared to restore infrastructure and help all affected families.
But there is also criticism from residents, who say, among other things, that they were informed too late about the heavy rainfall and the risk of flooding. The infrastructure was also not improved enough after the floods of 2019 in the same province that killed 85 people.