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Torrents Tear Through Kwa-Zulu Natal Again


A man crosses a flooded bridge, caused by heavy rains, in kwaNdengezi near Durban, South Africa, May 22, 2022.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated to safety after heavy rains have once again hammered South Africa's coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, flooding roads and houses and damaging properties, a government official said on Sunday.

As this storm-battered part of South Africa still struggles to recover from April's catastrophic rains, it happens again.

Sipho Hlomuka, with the Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs told journalists.

"So far the greatest impact is expected along the coastal and north-eastern parts of KwaZulu-Natal," he told reporters.

"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," Hlomuke said.

He said approximately 250 people had been evacuated from care centres in Tongaat and Tehuise in Durban, including retirement villages, to other facilities. Only one family was evacuated due to the collapse of an informal dwelling.

Kwa-Zulu Natal is still restoring damaged infrastructure and making plans to re-home people displaced after 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 ($1.58 billion) of infrastructure.

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.

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