Giving Compass' Take:
- Olivia Rosane reports on the catastrophic storm and resulting flooding that hit South Africa and killed at least 306 people.
- How can you support organizations working to help those harmed by this deadly storm? How can we prepare for more extreme weather as a result of climate change?
- Read about the role of climate change in natural disasters.
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At least 306 people have died after the heaviest rainfall in 60 years caused devastating flooding around the South African city of Durban.
That number makes the storm the deadliest in South African history, according to calculations by AFP.
“This is a catastrophe of enormous proportions,” South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said when speaking to a community impacted by the flooding, as AFP reported.
The flooding began early in the week in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, Reuters reported. The extreme rainfall lasted three days, with some places seeing more than a foot of precipitation and others receiving six-months of rain in one day, CBS News reported.
“[T]he Province of KwaZulu-Natal experienced what is one of the worst weather storms in the history of our country,” the provincial government wrote on Facebook. “The heavy rainfall that has descended on our land over the past few days, has wreaked untold havoc and unleashed massive damage to lives and infrastructure.”
The rainfall led to mudslides that destroyed homes and bridges and blocked roadways, CBS News reported. The storm also downed 900 cell towers belonging to two major networks. Emergency workers were still unable to access some remote areas by Thursday to perform rescues. All told, the regional government estimated that the storm had caused more than $100 million worth of damage. The province will receive funding, as it will be declared a disaster zone.
But some of the loss can never be calculated. One man named Nonkululeko Mdlalose told the president that he had lost 10 family members when the waters rose Monday night. Another man named Meli Sokela said he lost his child when his house collapsed in the flood.
Read the full article about the storm in South Africa by Olivia Rosane at EcoWatch.