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20 killed in SA floods, rescue teams search for survivors

20 killed in SA floods, rescue teams search for survivors

Staff Reporter

TWENTY people have been killed in floods caused by days of heavy rain in South Africa’s coastal province KwaZulu-Natal while rescue teams are on high alert to save people stuck on roofs and buried under collapsed houses.

An orange Level 8 warning was issued for parts of the province on Tuesday and Durban remains one of the worst-affected areas.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was deployed on Tuesday morning to provide aerial support to provincial disaster management teams.

Many people are still missing and emergency services are searching for survivors.

Key roads across the city are shut and mudslides have destroyed many homes.

Water and electricity supplies were cut to parts of the city after most of the city’s electricity power stations were flooded on Monday evening and some water treatment plants were damaged.

Mxolisi Kaunda, the mayor of eThekwini – which is the area including Durban and its surrounding towns – has apologised to residents who were left stranded after the emergency call centre was overwhelmed overnight.

Residents who feared their homes might collapse were advised to seek shelter in community halls.

More rainfall was expected across southern KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, according to the South African Weather Service, which advised citizens to stay clear of flooded roads and bridges.

Scientists have warned that climate change is fuelling heavier rainfall than usual in southern Africa.

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