12 dead in South African flooding

Twelve people have died due to flooding caused by torrential rain on South Africa’s eastern coast, local authorities reported on Monday.

In the Eastern Cape province, “the death toll is currently sitting at seven,” a spokesperson from Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, at the heart of the floods, told media.

Over 2,000 people have been evacuated from Nelson Mandela Bay, primarily from makeshift homes in the municipality’s slums. Local authorities have launched an appeal for donations of clothing, food, and blankets.

In the neighboring KwaZulu-Natal province, “five people have sadly lost their lives in the eThekwini Metro, which has been hardest hit, and dozens of people are being treated for injuries in health care facilities,” the provincial government said in a statement. Provincial authorities have declared a state of alert in KwaZulu-Natal.

Durban and its surrounding area, which experienced the worst flooding in South Africa’s history in 2022—resulting in over 400 deaths and millions of dollars in damage—are once again severely affected. Rescue services have been deployed in both affected provinces.

Images supplied by authorities show flattened homes, flooded roads, and felled trees. Some areas are experiencing energy blackouts.

The national meteorological institute has stated that South Africa is currently experiencing a “cut-off low” pressure system marked by heavy rains and a cold snap, which can also bring hail, snow, and strong winds. Heavy rainfall has impacted the eastern Indian Ocean coast, prompting meteorological services to issue weather alerts in four of the country’s nine provinces.

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