Floods in South Africa kill at least 259 people
Due to heavy rains and subsequent flooding in South Africa caused death of at least 259 people, and millions in infrastructure damage. Water washed out roads, led to landslides, destroyed power lines, disrupted railroads and shipping operations.
New data on the number of victims significantly exceeds previous statements, which is expected during an extreme weather event that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa described as a "catastrophe" and a "calamity".
After inspection of the damage from the floods the President met with the local community, promising to "spare nothing" in dealing with the consequences and searching for missing persons.
President Ramaphosa claimed:
This disaster is part of climate change. We no longer can postpone what we need to do … to deal with climate change. It is here, and our disaster management capability needs to be at a higher level.
South Africa neighbours such Mozambique and Zimbabwe suffer from floods almost every year, but the current crisis was a result of unusual conditions. Some parts of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province received more than 450 mm of rain in a span of 48 hours.