The search for dozens of people still missing five days after the greatest storm to hit South Africa’s coastal city of Durban in living memory intensified on Friday as the death toll climbed to nearly 400. It’s time to mourn after the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal was hit by extraordinary rains a week ago.
Every day, flood survivors learn that a sister, a father, a mother, or children have died. Nearly 400 bodies have been recovered in Durban and the surrounding area. The number of those that are still missing is still being counted. Landslides, mudslides, and floods have destroyed 4,000 homes in South Africa’s second-most populous province. Over 13,000 other people have been harmed.
Families and rescue teams search for answers where there used to be homes. The horrific scene is still unfathomable for many, including Mesuli Shandu: “I believed it was a dream, and I hoped someone would touch me and tell me to wake up. But when I see all the rescuers and dogs scouring the area for their bodies, I’m not sure what to believe. “
Volunteers work tirelessly through the sandy soil. They work tirelessly in front of the flood victims’ eyes, sometimes hopeful, sometimes despondent. There are a lot of hard-to-reach ruins, which makes it more difficult for dogs to find a scent. The South African Weather Service has also issued a thunderstorm and flooding warning for Easter weekend.
“We now have the rescue team here,” says Dumisani Kahnyile, a resident, “but with the rain that is coming back, they are going to be disrupted by the storm, and then there will be no further search.” A lot of people have been sent to help with rescue operations by groups like Rescue South Africa.
On Friday, a police fleet of cars and helicopters combed around a valley in western Durban. The urgent search for survivors continues in a battle against time. In the midst of reports of occasional looting, almost 4,000 police officers have been sent to assist with relief efforts and maintain law and order. In all, nearly 41,000 people were displaced by the floods, which left a trail of devastation in their wake. To unleash emergency funds, President Ramaphosa declared the region a catastrophe.