South Africans in the hard-hit flood zones of KwaZulu-Natal province were warned of another round of heavy rain into Saturday, adding to the misery caused by catastrophic flooding last week.
The additional rain slowed recovery efforts as emergency workers continue to search for the missing and work to provide humanitarian aid to survivors. The South African government said it was deploying 10,000 troops to the region to assist with the effort.
At least 443 people have died in the floods, with some remaining unaccounted for.
The flooding swamped roadways, stressed dams, and brought towering walls of mud and water down on the city of Durban and surrounding communities along the eastern coast. Parts of the region saw more than 300 millimeters (12 inches) of rain.
Homes and buildings collapsed, while the floods wreaked havoc on the port of Durban, knocking over stacks of shipping containers at the largest facility in sub-Saharan Africa. Durban’s port handles 60% of the container traffic for the nation of South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa toured the damage, joining regional authorities as they assessed the impacts last week.
“Our thoughts are with the people of KwaZulu-Natal who are affected by severe floods that have led to the loss of many lives and that have destroyed homes, businesses and public infrastructure,” Ramaphosa said.
“Government is providing assistance to affected communities and we will continue to monitor the situation.”
Image: Government Communication and Information System in KwaZulu-Natal