Durban floods

Photo: Bongani Mbatha / African News Agency (ANA)

Death toll rises to 70 in Durban flood disaster

Throughout the night of  Monday 22 April and into the following morning, Durban and surrounding areas was hit by torrential rains. At least 70 people, including children, died when houses collapsed on them, or they were buried in mud or swept away by the floodwaters. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams continue search operations.

The storm caused millions of rands’ worth of damage to roads, buildings, drains and sewer lines. Many areas were without power, as a result of damage to cables. Shocked residents recounted how floodwaters and mudslides crashed through houses, many with people inside. Cars, uprooted trees, tin roofs and other rubble were strewn around by the water.

Hundreds of people have been displaced after their homes were destroyed, leaving them with absolutely nothing. Temporary shelters have been set up in community halls, and those affected are receiving emergency relief. Community groups and religious organisations, including the Archdiocese of Durban, have heeded the call to help flood victims.

Kalie, from our Justice & Peace office is coordinating relief operations. “I am sorting out food that will be dispersed to those affected. Tomorrow I will be going into the Chatsworth and Umlazi area to find out how many households we can help. Definitely blankets will be a big help as most of them when I went yesterday really needed them.”

Items can be dropped off at the Chancery, 154 Gordon Rd, Morningside.

Clean-up operations are underway, but with more rain predicted, the situation is still critical.

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