Climate Change Caused Historic Flooding That Has Killed 259, South African President Says

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called the flooding a “catastrophe of enormous proportions" and vowed to “spare nothing” in dealing with the disaster and with climate change, which he said is the reason for the flooding.

Historic and devastating floods in South Africa have so far claimed the lives of 259 people in the East Coast city of Durban and surrounding area of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province, The Guardian reported.

The flooding, which was brought on by the heaviest rains in 60 years, has left countless missing. Authorities have designated the storm as the deadliest on record for the country.

Containers Collapse in Durban Port Due to Flooding in Durban, South Africa. - Getty Images

“At the moment the confirmed figures of people that have perished during this disaster is 259, across the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province,” Nonala Ndlovu, spokesperson for the provincial disaster management department, told AFP.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, has described the floods as a “catastrophe” and a “calamity.”

“Bridges have collapsed. Roads have collapsed. People have died … this is a catastrophe of enormous proportions,” he said.

It is unknown how many people are still missing from the floods that have washed through the area, knocking down homes, collapsing roads and bridges, as well as destroying areas like the city’s famous ports. Ramaphosa has promised to “spare nothing” in dealing with the disaster and with climate change, which he said is the reason for the flooding.

“This disaster is part of climate change. We no longer can postpone what we need to do … to deal with climate change,” he said. “It is here, and our disaster management capability needs to be at a higher level.”

Ramaphosa said 10 members of a single family were lost in the devastating floods, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Authorities are having a hard time find people who are missing or trapped because of the poor visibility in the area, BBC reported. More floods are expected.

Roads Buckle and Collapse Due to Flooding in East Coast, South Africa. - Getty Images

Electrical and cell phone towers have been knocked down and much of the area has been leveled by the devastation, BBC reported.

Durban, a coastal city which is known for its surfing and resorts, rests on the Indian Ocean and is known for its African, Indian and colonial influences.

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