DURBAN – The death toll from the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa has risen to 253.
Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal are counting the costs as homes, businesses, roads, bridges and electricity and water infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed.
The province has been declared a disaster area.
KwaZulu-Natal government spokesman Lennox Mabaso said cleanup efforts were continuing.
“Cleaning will continue and N2 and N3 will be closed,” Mabaso said.
Earlier, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the dire situation in KwaZulu-Natal was the worst the province has ever seen.
“We see such tragedies hitting other countries like Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but now it is us who are affected,” the president said during his visit to the province on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa made his first stop in Claremont, west of Durban, after being told of devastating floods that killed at least 59 people, displaced dozens of residents and devastated roads and bridges.
He said he needed to travel to the provinces to see for himself the seriousness of the situation.
Emergency teams rushed from site to site to save residents of eThekwini and surrounding areas from the rising waters.
KwaZulu-Natal has been declared a disaster area and the move was to free up money for relief and rescue efforts.
Many people were missing Wednesday morning and more than 100 schools were closed.
To add to the concern, the weather service is forecasting further heavy rains over parts of the province from Friday.