9:28 AM, April 19, 2022
After one of South Africa’s worst storm disasters which led to 443 deaths so far, President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a nationwide state of emergency. In a televised address on Monday, he said 48 people were still missing. It is estimated that 40,000 people have been displaced by the floods. “The lives, health and well-being of thousands of people remain at risk,” Ramaphosa said.
Heavy rains caused floods and mudslides early last week. Ramaphosa said that in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 200 to 400 mm of rain fell in 24 hours. Some areas have neither electricity nor running water. The port of Durban, one of the largest shipping ports in Africa, is closed until further notice. Rescue and cleaning teams as well as rescue services are still on duty.
“This is a humanitarian disaster that requires massive and urgent relief efforts,” the head of state said. Ramaphosa said the economic cost of rebuilding infrastructure and losing production is already expected to reach billions of rand (hundreds of millions of euros).
The coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal on the Indian Ocean was already struggling with millions of dollars in losses after days of violent protests and looting in July 2021. It is one of the most important holiday destinations in the country and has already prepared for many domestic and foreign tourists.
“Food practitioner. Bacon guru. Infuriatingly humble zombie enthusiast. Total student.”