Skip to content

South Africa, the death toll from floods rises to 443. New rains in the East

Nearly 443 people in South Africa have died and there are fears that number will increase as search and rescue operations continue to find scores of people who are still unaccounted for.
Rescue operations are continuing in an effort to save the lives of dozens of people who are missing following the floods in KwaZulu-Natal province. With more rain on its way, emergency teams face further peril as they search for survivors.

“My house was here, and behind my house it was six or seven metres away from the river, so I thought I was safe,” says Hero Cangcatha, pointing at the debris that was once his Durban home.

“I’m traumatised because I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to go, I don’t know the way forward. There’s no way forward in fact.”

Hero is one of about 40,000 people affected by the floods. Officials say 13,500 properties have been damaged, leaving many homeless without shelter, food or water.

Another woman nearby, who said she was too embarrassed to be named, said she must flee before her home is destroyed.

“I need a place to stay now, right now I’m leaving. Just for the safety of my children. It’s too bad, but we thank God that we are alive.”

The grim search for survivors is also in jeopardy because some excavation machine drivers have left for the Easter holiday.

One aid organisation, Gift of the Givers, is now appealing for people who know how to operate excavation machinery.

That is now more likely to be a body retrieval operation as opposed to a rescue. But still, residents are digging through the rubble with their bare hands.

There is a frantic search for clean drinking water, a week on since the floods swept through this region – destroying homes, power lines, roads and bridges.

Back To Top