Durban – The death toll in the province of KwaZulu Natal has reached more than 250, after devastating floods wreaked havoc in the area.
Local authorities are calling for a state of disaster to be declared, after some areas saw months worth of rain fall in one day. Officials have called it “one of the worst weather storms in the history of our country”.
Mudslides have trapped people under buildings, with more floods expected.
There are reports that the rescue effort is being hampered by poor visibility as a helicopter continues to bring people back to safety.
Parts of the crucial N3 highway which connects Durban to the economic heartland of Gauteng have been blocked.
President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the area and pledged to assist.
“Even though your hearts are in pain, we’re here for you,” said Ramaphosa.
He also described the disaster as a force of nature, which some have disagreed with. They blame poor drainage and badly built houses in low-lying areas for the high death toll.
Mayor of Durban, Mxolisi Kaunda, has denied that poor drainage is to blame, saying the scale of the flood was unexpected.