JOHANNESBURG – Hundreds of people have been evacuated to safety after heavy rains once again hammered South Africa’s coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, flooding roads and houses and damaging properties, a government official said on Sunday.
The province is still restoring damaged infrastructure and making plans to re-home people displaced after the flooding last month, which was among the worst to have affected KwaZulu-Natal province in its recorded history. April’s floods killed 448, with 88 still missing, left more than 6,800 homeless and damaged more than 25 billion rand of infrastructure.
“So far the greatest impact is expected along the coastal and north-eastern parts of KwaZulu-Natal,” Sipho Hlomuka, member of the executive council for Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs told journalists.
“This heavy rainfall has resulted in the flooding of roads, human settlements and damage to properties. We understand that some areas are inaccessible and have become islands at this stage,” he said, adding they had yet to receive a full report on the impact of the latest heavy rains.
Rainfall persisted on Sunday in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the South Africa Weather service said, as the alert level remained at the highest and most severe level of 10.
Scientists believe the southeastern coast of Africa is becoming more vulnerable to violent storms and floods as human emissions of heat-trapping gases cause the Indian Ocean to warm. They expect the trend to worsen dramatically in coming decades.