South Africans sift through flood damage, as weekend forecast calls for more rain

More rain is predicted this weekend, adding a sense of urgency to the cleanup.

April 21, 2022, 9:39 AM

DURBAN, South Africa -- Communities in Durban, South Africa, are still sifting through debris, trying to salvage the little they can save after devastating floods killed almost 450 people and destroyed millions of dollars in infrastructure.

The weekend weather forecast is predicting more rain in Durban, adding a sense of urgency to the cleanup operations.

ABC News visited several sites where landslides swept through homes, taking everything in its path.

PHOTO: Residents sift through rubble, looking for bodies after heavy rains caused flooding in Ntuzuma near Durban, South Africa, April 20, 2022.
Residents sift through rubble, looking for bodies after heavy rains caused flooding in Ntuzuma near Durban, South Africa, April 20, 2022.
Rogan Ward/Reuters

Torrential rains last week -- the worst in recorded history -- triggered record floods and mudslides, killing 448 people and injuring hundreds more.

At least 40,00 people have been left homeless after the KwaZulu-Natal province received the equivalent of four months of rain in 24 hours, prompting the government to put the country back into a national state of disaster -- only a few weeks after suspending a two year COVID-19 related state of national disaster.

PHOTO: A member of a search and rescue team airlifts a body from the Mzinyathi River after heavy rains caused flooding near Durban, South Africa, April 19, 2022.
A member of a search and rescue team airlifts a body from the Mzinyathi River after heavy rains caused flooding near Durban, South Africa, April 19, 2022.
Rogan Ward/Reuters
PHOTO: A man walks below a bridge which was destroyed after heavy rains caused flooding in Ntuzuma near Durban, South Africa, April 20, 2022.
A man walks below a bridge which was destroyed after heavy rains caused flooding in Ntuzuma near Durban, South Africa, April 20, 2022.
Rogan Ward/Reuters

“These are the worst floods we’ve ever seen. In over 24 hours, there was 300 to 400 mm of rain,” Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said at a news conference on Tuesday, crediting climate change as a catalyst for the extreme weather. At the high end of the range, that would equal about 15 inches of rainfall.

While the government has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, South Africans have also opened their hearts, with donations and help streaming in from across the country.

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