S. Africa’s flood death toll continues to rise

Johannesburg: A total of 443 people died as a result of rains in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province last week while 63 persons were missing, a local official said.

“The past days have been focused on immediate rescue missions and efforts aimed at saving lives and surveying the damage. While this still continues as a priority, the work to lift the province out of this rubble is intensifying,” Kwazulu-Natal Provincial Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Sunday.

Zikalala said South African police and national defence forces have deployed pilots and crews to help with the rescue operations, Xinhua news agency reported.

A number of areas experienced water disruptions while most areas experienced electricity disruptions, Zikalala said, adding a total of 8,329 houses partially damaged, 3,937 completely destroyed, and 13,556 households affected.

He said that the flood was among the worst catastrophes in the province, so far.

“The loss of life, destruction of homes, the damage to the physical infrastructure, the demolition of public buildings, and the consequent damage to services combined to make this natural disaster one of the worst ever in the recorded history of our province,” Zikalala said.

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