At least 45 people have lost their lives after heavy rains caused flooding in South Africa’s eastern coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, a provincial minister confirmed on Tuesday.
“As a provincial government, we are concerned about the floods taking place in KwaZulu-Natal. So far, we have lost about 45 people,” Sipho Hlomuka, the provincial co-operative governance minister, told reporters.
He said the heavy rains which began three days ago have destroyed infrastructure and flooded homes. Cases of mudslides triggered by the unusually heavy rainfall have also been reported, he said, adding some families have lost as many as five members in the floods.
Telecom giant MTN said dozens of its sites have been damaged in the province affecting communication, while several power stations and water treatment centers have also been flooded.
According to reports, over 500 schools have also been shut in the province and hundreds of displaced residents are currently being housed at community centers.
Officials said many people are still missing, and search and rescue operations are underway./agencies