Fri, 23 Aug 2019

At least 51 confirmed dead in KZN floods - reports

News24
24 Apr 2019, 17:40 GMT+10

At least 51 people have been confirmed dead following heavy rains and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal, EWN has reported.

KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube reportedly said that more bodies had been discovered under the rubble as rescue operations continued throughout Tuesday night.

Five more people remain unaccounted for, she said.

On Tuesday, News24 reported that people's homes had been swallowed by raging floods, while scores of others have been misplaced in Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape, forcing them to take refuge in community halls and churches.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has undertaken to go to communities in flood-stricken KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape when he returns form his work visit to Egypt.

Ramaphosa has expressed his personal sadness over the loss of life and damage to property.

"As South Africans, the entire nation's thoughts and prayers are with the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape who have been affected by the forces of nature against which they had little defence," said the president.

Full alert

Dube-Ncube urged residents and visitors to the province to remain on full alert and to move to higher ground if under threat. She said disaster relief efforts were in progress in all affected areas.

She said dozens of cases of collapsed walls and flooded homes had been reported, with 235 Durban homes already assessed as damaged.

"Roads have been flooded too, disrupting traffic as KZN enters the first working day after the Easter weekend. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to exercise utmost caution on the roads that are already flooded or where there is high risk of flash flooding," said Dube-Ncube.

She said the province was working closely with the eThekwini metro and other affected municipalities to coordinate relief efforts.

Authorities had reported 145 displaced persons, some of whom had already found shelter with relatives.

On Thursday night, 13 people were killed when part of a Pentecostal Church building collapsed in Dlangubo in KwaZulu-Natal following heavy rains.

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