NEWS– A total of over 300 people are confirmed to have died following heavy rains and flooding that battered the Eastern Coast of South Africa yesterday
and also damaged roads and destroyed homes.
A statement issued by the Regional Government yesterday evening described the tragedy as one of the darkest moments in the history of the KwaZulu-Natal province.
“We join the families in mourning the lives that we have lost as a result of the heavy rains,” the government wrote in a statement.
The government however commended the National Disaster Management Team for the tireless work they have been doing to evacuate affected communities in KwaZulu-Natal, which includes the coastal city of Durban where roads cracked and gave way to deep fissures, and a huge stack of shipping containers collapsed into muddy waters.
It’s also reported that a bridge near Durban was swept away, leaving people stranded on either side.
KwaZulu-Natal Province has experienced extreme rainfall since Monday this week in what the provincial government called “one of the worst weather storms in the history of our country” in recent years.
“The heavy rainfall that has descended on our land over the past few days, has wreaked untold havoc and unleashed massive damage to lives and infrastructure,” The statement said.
The provincial government said later that it continues to work with the national government to ensure that relief is provided to all those that have been affected.
A member of the Executive Council for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Sipho Hlomuka said that the heavy rains have affected power lines in many Municipalities with technical teams working around the clock to restore power.
The Mayor of hard-hit eThekwini Municipality, Mxolisi Kaunda told reporters that flooded power stations were inaccessible in the hard-hit eThekwini while water mains routes were also damaged.
Mxolisi Kaunda asked private and religious institutions to assist with emergency relief operations, and requested help from the South African National Defense Force to provide aerial support to rescue the stranded victims.
Additional Reporting by CNN.