Monster floods killed almost 306 people

It is a ” catastrophe daunting” according to President cyril ramaphosa, traveling this Wednesday to Durban. the recent floods devastating in South Africa, the worst in the country’s history, left 306 dead, according to a latest report from the Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) provincial disaster management office. Local authorities said they were dealing with an influx of bodies into morgues. The record rainfall, which since last weekend has reached a level not seen for more than sixty years in this region open to the Indian Ocean, has left devastated landscapes in its wake.

“Bridges have collapsed. The roads have collapsed. People died. Our people are hurt. It is a disaster of enormous proportions,” said the head of state. In places around Durban, landslides have left giant gaps in the land as if split by torrents of water. Dozens of people are missing, rescuers described “a nightmare”.

buried families

During his visit, Ramaphosa visited bereaved families. In Clermont, a poor suburb of Durban, he promised government aid to a father who lost all four of his children, buried in the collapse of a section of his house. With joined hands, the man told the head of state about the water that rose in the middle of the night, the power cut, his children sleeping in another room and whom he was unable to save.

The showers are expected to taper off slowly overnight, according to forecasters. This region, which suffered massive destruction during an unprecedented wave of rioting and looting in July, was already receiving less rain. In humid heat, some were cleaning up around collapsed buildings. On roads littered with rubble, others were throwing sand to cover the holes, an AFP journalist noted.

“Climate change is getting worse”

Some schools have opened their doors, but most of the benches have remained empty. The army was mobilized to provide air support during the evacuations. Thousands of houses were destroyed, at least 140 schools were affected, according to local authorities. For several days now, the main roads have also been submerged in a brownish molasses, on which signs and traffic lights float.

Mountains of branches, bottles and rubbish were washed up on Durban’s beaches, which are often popular with tourists and families. Port activity was suspended, containers were dragged. Looting has been reported. Heavy rains also caused power outages and disrupted water supplies. Rail links were suspended and residents were urged to avoid travel.

“We know it’s the climate change It is getting worse, we have gone from extreme storms in 2017 to supposedly record floods in 2019, but clearly surpassed today in 2022”, warned Mary Galvin, professor of development studies at the University of Johannesburg. In 2019, flooding in the region and neighboring Eastern Cape province has already claimed 70 lives and devastated several coastal towns in landslides.

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