The death toll from floods in eastern South Africa rose to more than 300 on Wednesday.
Heavy rains on the east coast of the country have caused landslides and destroyed thousands of housing units, roads and stairs in the port of Durban. A spokesman for the South African Office of Natural Disaster Management said the death toll from floods in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal had risen to 306.
Recent rains in East South Africa have been unprecedented for more than 60 years.
“The bridges have been destroyed, the roads have been destroyed, the people have died, our nation has been damaged,” said Cyril Ramafosa, President of South Africa, who visited the affected areas. “This is a catastrophe on a large scale.”
The South African president also blamed the floods on his country as a result of climate change. He said the natural disaster showed that climate change was “serious”.
Rescue operations continue as dozens of people disappear following floods and landslides. South African officials have mobilized troops to help the injured.
Precipitation and storm systems pass through southern Africa every year between November and April, but South Africa is often protected from these storms.