At least 22 people have died in South Africa in floods caused by heavy rainfall accompanied by violent winds that went so far as to form tornadoes, according to a new report Tuesday from local authorities.

A previous report reported twelve deaths.

The bad weather which has continued since the weekend is currently concentrated in the province of the Eastern Cape (southeast) and that of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN, east), both open to the Indian Ocean.

“We have a total of eleven deaths in the Eastern Cape, including nine in Gqeberha and two in East London”, the region's two main towns, Pheello Oliphant, spokesperson for the local management department, told AFP. disasters.

In KZN, “at least eleven people have died”, lamented the provincial government in a press release.

According to the National Institute of Meteorology, “at least two tornadoes” were observed in the region, accompanied by violent thunderstorms and hail.

Rescue teams are still deployed in the two provinces. A few thousand people had to leave their homes, including families living in makeshift huts.

Houses were razed by bad weather, roads submerged and trees uprooted, according to AFP journalists on site. The electricity was cut off in places.

Calls for donations in kind have been launched, such as blankets, food or clothing.

In 2022, the port city of Durban, capital of KZN, was hit by the worst floods in the country's history. Torrential rains had triggered impressive mudslides; more than 400 people died and the damage amounted to several million euros.

Weather forecasters have issued warnings for Wednesday, with heavy rain still forecast in the south-east but also in Cape Town and its surrounding areas.

According to specialists, the country is hit by heavy rains and a cold snap, a low pressure system called “cut-off low”, which can cause heavy rain, hail, violent winds or even snowfall.


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