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First Covid-19, now floods empty SA’s beach resorts

First Covid-19, now floods empty SA’s beach resorts

SIYABONGA SISHI AFTER two years of the COVID-19 pandemic keeping tourists away, South African resorts along the popular eastern Indian Ocean coastline were hoping for a bumper Easter weekend. But torrential rain last week triggered floods and mudslides, killing more than 440 people, knocking out power and water supplies and covering the beaches in and around the main port city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province, with debris. Some hotels had a third of bookings cancelled and others were forced to close during what is normally the second-busiest time of the year. Provincial authorities say they were expecting around 360,000 arrivals but…
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SA military deployed to flood-ravaged province

SA military deployed to flood-ravaged province

SIYABONGA SISHI THOUSANDS of South African soldiers will help with relief efforts in KwaZulu-Natal province, where more than 440 people have died in floods and mudslides and dozens more are missing. A week after the torrential rains began, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said on Monday it had been instructed to activate 10,000 troops for tasks including mop-up work and transporting aid. The SANDF would also provide medical support and helicopters for rescue and reconnaissance missions. The floods have left thousands homeless, knocked out power and water services and disrupted operations at one of Africa's busiest ports, Durban.…
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S.A floods: 306 dead, President visits victims

S.A floods: 306 dead, President visits victims

TIM COCKS SOUTH AFRICAN President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged to help the victims of devastating east coast floods, as the death toll rose to 306 from heavy rains that washed out roads and disrupted shipping in one of Africa's busiest ports. Ramaphosa visited families who had lost loved ones in KwaZulu-Natal province, including a family with four children after floods and mudslides ravaged their homes on Tuesday. Africa's southeastern coast is on the front line of seaborne weather systems that scientists believe global warming is making nastier - and predict will get far worse in decades to come. "You're not alone…
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Early warnings for floods in South Africa: engineering for future climate change

Early warnings for floods in South Africa: engineering for future climate change

SEVERE weather, rain and flooding are at the forefront of the minds of many South Africans, especially those in KwaZulu-Natal. Early last week (11-12 April 2022), the province’s coast received heavy rain, with some areas recording over 300mm in 24 hours. This is about a third of the annual rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal. The rain was caused by a strong cut-off low weather system off the east coast of southern Africa. Cut-off lows frequently occur off this coast during the autumn months. These systems can cause localised flooding as well as large wave events. The port city of Durban (in the…
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SA floods “a teachable moment”

SA floods “a teachable moment”

KIM HARRISBERG AS downpours swamped South Africa's third-largest city this week, residents lucky enough to still have internet access and power shared harrowing videos of highways turned into rivers, collapsed buildings and flood-capsized cars. The deluge has killed more than 300 people in KwaZulu-Natal province, and with more heavy rain expected on the weekend residents and experts questioned whether the city had prepared sufficiently for worsening weather extremes. "We don't have the government's attention," complained Siya Gumede, 26, outside his home in Shakaskraal township north of Durban - a home now with only walls after a neighbouring church collapsed onto…
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