South Africa declares state of disaster after severe flooding | News


The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced on Monday that the Government declared a state of disaster throughout the country due to the devastating floods that occurred last week and that left at least 443 deaths and nearly 40,000 displaced.


South Africa on high alert for torrential rains

“This humanitarian disaster calls for an urgent and massive relief effort. The lives, health and well-being of thousands of people are still at risk. The floods have caused great social and economic damage,” the president said in a televised message.

Previously, Ramaphosa had declared a state of disaster only in the province of the affected area, the eastern region of KwaZulu-Natal. Given the extent and impact of the floods, new measures were adopted.

“Tonight we are a nation united in our grief. We are a nation united in our determination to assist those who have lost their homes and possessions, those who are in desperate need of food, water and shelter,” said the head of state.

According to the KwaZulu-Natal authorities, these floods have been among the worst catastrophes in recent history, and the damage is expected to be in the millions, although they have not yet been accounted for.

The most recent official records put 443 dead and 63 missing. The number of people affected is around 40,000 and about 4,00 homes were devastated, while another 83,000 are partially destroyed.

Among the most damaged areas are those belonging to informal settlements, whose houses were almost completely destroyed by landslides and water. In addition, the infrastructure of electricity, transport, including the port of Durban, the largest cargo in Africa, water and many medical assistance centers, suffered enormous impacts.

Seven days after the tragedy, the residents of Durban continue without water or electricity, and tanker trucks are in charge of carrying water, although the towns with blocked routes continue without supplies.

More than 3,000 millimeters of rain per square meter fell in and around Durban, causing landslides and flooding.

According to the government, some 100,000 soldiers will be deployed to help search, clear and transport equipment and humanitarian aid.

A statement from the South African National Defense Forces (SNDF) indicated that the military will take care of erecting temporary accommodation for those affected and will support medical teams in the area, in addition to providing drinking water and technical support. to restore electricity.

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