The biggest floods in six decades have devastated the South African port city of Durban, killing at least 306 people.
According to the Bureau of Statistics AFP, It was the deadliest flood on record in South Africa, as floodwaters swept across roads in the city of Durban, landslides and destroyed homes in the city. eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), east coast of the African country.
“On the evening of April 13, we were informed that the death toll from the flood disaster in the province had reached 306,” said Nonala Ndlovu, a spokesman for the KZN provincial disaster management department. The agency said it was “one of the darkest moments in the province’s history”.
KZN provincial officials said South Africa’s largest flood in six years was “unprecedented” and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in property and infrastructure damage.
“Bridges have collapsed, roads have been washed away, many people have died … it’s a tragic disaster,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told local communities after inspecting the flood damage.
The floods came as a low pressure mass exposed the hot and humid climate of eastern South Africa, causing heavy rainfall. “Some parts of KZN province have experienced more than 450mm of rain in the past 48 hours, almost half of Durban’s annual rainfall,” said Dipuo Tawana, an official with South Africa’s National Meteorological Service.
Continued heavy rain flooded some areas, flooded highways, damaged infrastructure throughout the city, and landslides crippled railway lines across the province. An estimated 6,000 homes were damaged by flooding.
President Ramaphosa confirmed that the search for the missing is continuing and pledged to do everything possible to deal with the disaster.
“This is part of climate change. We can no longer delay what needs to be done to combat climate change,” the South African president said. “This phenomenon is hitting South Africa and our disaster management capabilities need to be taken to the next level.”
Jomba Phiri, who lives in Durban, said his home was swept away by floodwaters. “I don’t know where my family is going to sleep right now,” Ferry said.
Ron Naidoo, a community pastor in the town of Tongat, KZN province, said he stayed up all night as the floodwaters rose, watching police salvage a car with bodies from the river. “It’s painful, it’s the first time we’ve seen the river this high,” he said.
Heavy rain continued in Durban on the afternoon of April 13, and a flood warning was issued for the neighbouring Eastern Cape.
The port city of Durban has witnessed Violence claims more than 250 lives In July 2021, it was the worst unrest in South Africa since apartheid ended.
The southern part of the country is also facing a climate crisis, suffering from increasing rains and floods. In 1995, floods killed 140 people in South Africa.
German and Chinese (according to The Guardian/BBC)