South Africa floods: death toll rises and a state of disaster is declared

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Local NGOs are working hard to assist the numerous victims of the deadliest floods on record in South Africa. Survivors are in desperate need of basic necessities after losing everything in the floods which began earlier this week.

The governemnt says more than 40,000 people have already been affected in the Southeastern Kwazulu-Natal province. It claims to have establised many shelters but frustration and anxiety are palpable. "Our situation is bad, we are all here with our kids needing assistance because water came into our houses and they were washed away.", says Ntokozo Mathenjwa, a resident from Isipingo, a city 20 kilimoters south of Durban.

After an emergency meeting, authorities decided to classify the event as a state of disaster in order to release emergency funds to the province.

The heavy rains followed by disastrous floods have washed away houses, destroyed roads and cut water and electricity in large parts of Durban which offficials say will take minimum a week to be restored.

Satellite photos produced by Maxar Technologies before and after the storm show its significant impact on South Africa’s thirst largest city famous for its ocean beaches and nature reserves.

According to the latest figures, the unprecedented event has killed at least 341 people and that number could rise as rescue operations are still going on and more rain is planned this weekend in the same area.

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