One week after heavy torrential rains hit South Africa, rescue operators have recorded a death toll of at least 443 people, with at least 63 others still missing.
Heavy flood engulfed the KwaZulu-Natal province in the port city of Durban last week, pulling buildings and people along with it. Official data from government agencies shared that 13,500 homes were destroyed by the flood, including 500 school buildings and a score of hospitals.
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a state of national disaster in South Africa, referring to the situation as “a humanitarian disaster”.
While the National Meteorological Institute posits that the worst of the rains have eased off and no flooding is expected in the coming days, the government is still saddled with the issue of displacement and availability of drinkable water.
At least 40,000 people have lost their homes since the rains began last week and till now, suitable shelters have not been provided for them.
On the other hand, some areas affected by the flood have been without drinking water and electricity since Monday. The heavy floods cut off major roads and bridges, making it hard for tankers to bring in water.
President Ramaphosa has sent out 10,000 troops to offer additional relief efforts in the affected areas. Ramaphosa also approved the release of a €63 million (R1 billion) emergency fund to manage the massive destruction caused by the flood.