President Mnangagwa joins South Africans in mourning 300 people who were killed by floods in KZN

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Mnangagwa yesterday sent a message of condolence to South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa following the death of over 300 people due to floods that hit KwaZulu-Natal province.

In a statement last night, President Mnangagwa said he was deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of lives in KwaZulu-Natal by the floods which have left many more people and communities homeless and destitute after three days of torrential rains.

“I watched with absolute horror as many settlements and homes were flooded and swept away, with vital infrastructure, principally buildings, roads, and bridges getting damaged,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Weather forecasts pointing to more rains into the weekend suggest no respite for affected communities. On behalf of the Government and the people of Zimbabwe, and indeed on my behalf, I wish to extend my deepest, heartfelt condolences to you, my dear brother, and through you, Comrade President, to the Government and people of South Africa, on this terrible tragedy that has befallen our people.

“In particular, we extend and convey our prayers and sympathies to the families which have lost their beloved ones in this natural disaster which is traceable to climate change. We hope the rains will ebb soon, thus giving the affected communities a chance to pick up the pieces once more.”

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President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans were with South Africans in their hour of bereavement and great need.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala told the media yesterday that the death toll had reached 280.

“We are concerned that there are many people who have been reported still missing, we are working with those communities who have reported and we will ensure that we provide all necessary support that we are able to,” said Mr Zikalala.

Yesterday, President Ramaphosa visited families that lost their loved ones in Durban.

“I have to come and see the damage for myself,” he said speaking in isiZulu. “We see similar tragedies hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, but today it is us who are hit. The national and provincial governments will work together to see how we can help.”

On Tuesday night, fresh rainfall brought the level of rainfall to more than 450mm in 48 hours in some areas.

The rains received in some parts of the province were the highest in over 60 years.

Apart from killing people, the rains have left a trail of destruction of infrastructure such as bridges, schools and homes.

Power and water supplies have also been disrupted.

Other areas had graves damaged and human skeletons could be seen flowing.

— Herald

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