Floods in South Africa – South Africa declares a nationwide state of emergency – News

  • In South Africa, the government declared a national emergency due to severe flooding.
  • The storms have claimed 443 lives so far, and an estimated 40,000 people have been displaced by the floods.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address on Monday that 48 people are still missing.

Heavy rains caused floods and mudslides early last week. Ramaphosa said that in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 200 to 400 mm of rain fell in 24 hours.

Some areas have neither electricity nor running water. The port of Durban, one of Africa’s busiest shipping ports, is closed until further notice. Rescue and cleaning teams as well as rescue services are still on duty.

This is a humanitarian catastrophe that requires massive and urgent relief efforts.

Ramaphosa said the economic costs of rebuilding infrastructure and lost production are already expected to reach 1 billion rand (64 million Swiss francs).

The South African army had earlier announced that about 10,000 military personnel would be deployed. Among other things, they should help with cleaning work and provide medical support.

The coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal on the Indian Ocean was already struggling with millions of dollars in losses after days of violent protests and looting in July 2021. It is one of the most important holiday destinations in the country and has already prepared for many domestic and foreign tourists.

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