Ramaphosa visits flood-hit province as deaths rise

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is visiting the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal where key roads are shut and mudslides have destroyed many homes following prolonged rains.

The death toll from the floods has climbed to 59, according to the authorities, with the rain expected to weaken on Wednesday.

Mr Ramaphosa will assess the response of government and civil societies and offer support to affected communities, his office has said.

“This is a tragic toll of the force of nature and this situation calls for an effective response by government,” said President Ramaphosa.

There are reports of looting of shipping containers which had washed up to a major highway following the heavy rains.

A view of shipping containers, which were washed away after heavy rains caused flooding, in Durban, South Africa, April 12, 2022.

The Provincial Executive Council has condemned the reports and warned that criminals will not be allowed to take advantage of the havoc, IOL website reports.

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“We call on all law enforcement agencies to ensure that all property is protected from criminality and that law and order is maintained during this period,” the website quoted a statement from the council.

African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat has tweeted

his “sincere condolences to the families who have lost loved ones following heavy flooding”.

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