Landslides have engulfed walls in South Africa, killing hundreds

The death toll on the east coast of South Africa continued to rise. Storms and floods in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal have claimed hundreds of lives. So far, 341 dead have been found.

Rivers overflowed this week, with heavy rainfall leading to mudslides, including in and around the coastal city of Durban. This city is known for its beautiful coastline and beautiful weather. Holiday homes have collapsed and shopping malls have been flooded. But many poor South Africans in particular have been hit hard.

The water has now largely receded. In the Isipingo slum in Durban, people draw water from their slums. The mattresses are outside to dry in the sun. They even try to dry bags of rice.

“The water came here, almost to the roof,” said Tumi, who has a house there. The settlement is close to the river that overflowed. She was not warned that a storm was coming. “As the water continued to rise, we grabbed all of our important papers, like an ID card, and fled.”

Electrical wires lie on the ground like a spider’s web in the mud. One person died in this settlement, he was struck by electricity because the wires were in the water.

The corrugated iron house did not hold

A little further is grief. Maureen Dlamini sits on the floor and cries. In front of her are candles and pieces of clothing: her 17-year-old granddaughter’s school uniform and her daughter’s shirt.

Grandma Dlamini lives in a stone house that was not hit by the storm. But her daughter and granddaughter had a house made of corrugated iron and wood. Landslides swept away the walls and they were buried under the rubble.

Take a look at the report made by correspondent Elles van Gelder in Durban:

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