Heavy rains and flooding hit South Africa’s coastal city of Durban

Declaring a national state of disaster, South Africa has allocated $67 million to help those hit by floods that have killed at least 448 people in the eastern city of Durban and the surrounding KwaZulu-Natal province.

Nearly 4,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 40,000 people displaced by the floods and mudslides caused by prolonged heavy rains, provincial officials said Tuesday. More than 40 people remain missing and about 600 schools have been hit with damages estimated at about $28 million, according to officials.

South Africa’s military has deployed 10,000 troops in Operation Chariot to help with continuing search and rescue efforts, deliver food, water, and clothing to flood victims, and rebuild collapsed roads and bridges. Water tankers have been sent to areas where access to clean water has been disrupted and teams are working to restore electricity to large areas.

Students shoveled mud out of some schools that had been flooded.

Visiting some of the flooded areas last week, South African President Cyril Ramophosa blamed climate change for the unprecedented rains, the heaviest in at least 60 years. Announcing the state of disaster in a televised address Monday night, Ramaphosa pledged that government funds for the flood victims will not be lost to corruption.

South Africa had been in a national state of disaster over COVID-19 since March 2020 until it was lifted two weeks ago, but it has now been reinstated in response to the Durban floods.

Source – AlJazeera