KZN floods: In numbers - 443 dead, 63 missing, more than 13 000 households affected

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  • The latest death toll is 443.
  • Sihle Zikalala revealed that 63 people were still missing.
  • He said more than 3 000 homes were completely destroyed.

As the flooding in KwaZulu-Natal enters its sixth day, the death toll has risen to 443, with 63 people still missing and more than 13 000 households affected.

Briefing the media on Sunday, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said the floods were among the worst catastrophes to befall the province.

"The loss of life, destruction of homes, the damage to the physical infrastructure, the demolition of public buildings, and the consequent damage to services combined to make this natural disaster one of the worst ever in recorded history of our province," Zikalala said.

"We suspect the human toll and damage surpasses the 1987 floods, which engulfed this part of the world."

Rescue operations 

Search and rescue missions continued on Sunday as emergency services received 38 call-outs - and, at the scenes attended, six more bodies were recovered.

To assist with operations, the South African Police Service deployed four pilots and 48 crews, and the South African National Defence Force four pilots and 12 crews.

"We have rescue dogs, four jet skis, and a combined crew of 67 experts in search and rescue missions," Zikalala said.

Tragically, the premier revealed that one search and rescue team member died in hospital following a search and rescue mission at Henley Dam.

Rolling coverage: South Africa deluge easing but flood emergency lingers

"He experienced difficulty breathing and was airlifted to the Mediclinic Hospital - but, unfortunately, passed away. May his soul rest in peace."

To date, 185 rescue operations have been executed.

Damage done 

While the province is still assessing the total damage, Zikalala gave the estimated cost for road infrastructure damage - R5.6 billion.

The premier also gave information about households affected by the flooding. He said 13 556 had been affected, with 8 329 houses partially damaged and 3 937 homes completely destroyed.

Zikalala said the Department of Human Settlements had made R1 billion available to assist.  

READ | KZN Floods: Pietermaritzburg search and rescue police officer dies while on duty

"With effect from Tuesday, the MEC for Human Settlements will lead the programme to identify land for the temporary relocation of people, facilitate provision of temporary shelter, and also work on long-term interventions.

"Moving forward, the case of persons who built houses along the river banks demands priority attention.

"A number of houses along these river banks were affected. Many still remain precariously perched on the edge of the river. In reality, no building should ever have been allowed to be erected at such a location."

Meanwhile, the premier said the SA Social Security Agency had made funding to the tune of R1 900 times 2 per household for burial support.

"This excludes the funding to be provided to cover funeral costs by the province, municipalities and private donors."

Schools affected

Zikalala said 551 schools were affected by the floods and around 98 schools would need mobile classrooms when reopening. Other schools would require cleaning and minor repairs.

"The severe cases will be dealt with through the implementing agent intervention. The department will unveil plans to ensure that schooling returns to normal when schools reopen, and the relevant contingency measures."

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