59 killed due to heavy rains, flooding in S Africa

TEHRAN, Apr. 13 (MNA) – Heavy rains and floods have battered the eastern coast of South Africa, killing at least 59 people, damaging roads and destroying houses, prompting authorities to urge residents to stay at home.

The floods hit the province of KwaZulu-Natal, which includes the coastal city of Durban, where roads cracked and gave way to deep fissures, and a huge stack of shipping containers collapsed into muddy waters, news agency images show. A bridge near Durban has swept away, leaving people stranded on either side, CNN reported.

KwaZulu-Natal has experienced extreme rainfall since Monday, in what the provincial government called "one of the worst weather storms in the history of our country" in a statement posted to Facebook, where it also gave the death toll.
"The heavy rainfall that has descended on our land over the past few days has wreaked untold havoc and unleashed massive damage to lives and infrastructure," it said.

Teams have been evacuating people in areas that had experienced "mudslides, flooding and structural collapses of buildings and roads," Sipho Hlomuka, a member of the Executive Council for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, said on Twitter Tuesday.
The local government has asked private and religious institutions to assist with emergency relief operations, and has requested help from the South African National Defense Force to provide aerial support, he said.

The extreme weather comes just months after heavy rainfall and floods hit other parts of southern Africa, with three tropical cyclones and two tropical storms over just six weeks from late January. There were 230 reported deaths and 1 million people affected.

MP/PR

News Code 185687

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