“The floods affected 85,280 people and left 461 dead. A total of 87 people are still missing,” said Sihle Zikalala, chief minister of KwaZulu-Natal province (southeast), during a briefing. hurry.

Torrential rains in April, attributed to extreme weather conditions due to climate change, took the country by surprise, traditionally spared from the storms that regularly hit neighbors like Mozambique.

More than 300mm of rain fell in the space of 24 hours in parts of the province, the equivalent of about a third of the annual rainfall usually recorded in Durban, a major port city of more than 3.9 million of inhabitants.

The deluge triggered the worst mudslides ever seen in the country, washing away people, bridges, roads and buildings.

“The KwaZulu-Natal floods have been rightly described as the most devastating floods in our history so far,” Zikalala added, adding that more than 27,000 homes were damaged, including 8,584 completely destroyed.