Heavy rains pounded South Africa, causing hundreds of people to escape their homes on the east coast, only a month after the worst floods in living memory killed more than 400 people.
There were no initial reports of fatalities, but several structures were severely damaged, particularly in Durban, the capital of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province.
“We have yet to receive a complete thorough assessment on the impact of these recent severe rains,” KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said at a press conference. “However, as reports come in, a gloomy picture is forming.”
In late April, torrential rain killed 435 people in floods and landslides. Meanwhile, survivors went nearly two weeks without drinking water.
After storms inflicted damage worth hundreds of millions of dollars, repairs are still underway.
Infrastructure, roads, bridges, and destroyed buildings were all affected by the recent floods.
“At this point, certain locations are unreachable and have become islands,” Zikalala remarked.
A journalist saw portions of the road swept away near the Umdloti beach resort north of Durban, leaving gaping craters and automobiles teetering on the edge.
“The water began late yesterday afternoon, but we couldn’t get away due to the collapse of this road,” one nearby homeowner, Kevin Govender, told the reporters.
Only when emergency personnel came on Sunday were they allowed to leave.
Overnight, about 250 people were evacuated from the resort town, and rescue efforts were still underway on Sunday as emergency services received further cries for assistance. Power has been out in several households.
Officials stated the water filtration unit for the eThekwini district near Durban was also damaged.
The South African Weather Service has issued the highest level of alert. Officials advised locals to remain put.
Authorities set up 82 receiving centers, with police, firemen, and rescue personnel ready to respond quickly in the event of an emergency.
The army has also been summoned for assistance.
Elderly residents in some areas have already been evacuated by officials.
Durban has a population of 3.9 million people and is home to one of Africa’s major ports.
Rain is predicted to last through Monday, according to projections.
Storms that often batter neighbouring countries like Mozambique and Madagascar seldom hit South Africa.