SOUTH AFRICA: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday declared a national state of disaster over the deadly floods on the east coast, warning that rebuilding even basic services will take time.
“This is a humanitarian disaster that calls for a massive and urgent relief effort,” he said in a televised address. “The lives, health and well-being of thousands of people are still at risk.”
“The Port of Durban — which is one of the largest and busiest shipping terminals on the continent and which is vital to our country’s economy — has been severely affected,” he said.
At least 443 people have died, with 48 still missing, around the east coast city of Durban, the president said.
Some badly damaged areas remain inaccessible, he added, including 16 schools that are completely cut off.
The state of disaster, similar to measures imposed to fight the Covid pandemic, unlocks additional resources to help rebuild.
The military said 10,000 troops were deployed to help restore power and water and search for the missing.
But hopes for finding the missing were fading.
The deadliest storm on record dumped apocalyptic levels of rain on Durban and the surrounding area.
Some 40,000 people were left homeless and more than 600 schools and 66 health care facilities have been damaged, Ramaphosa said. ‘
— THE MALAY MAIL