Saturday, January 08, 2011

South Africa flooding leaves 50 dead... ( cnn)

South Africa flooding leaves 50 dead, hundreds homeless

From Nkepile Mabuse, CNN

Adverse weather has plagued the country since mid-December

Dozens were killed as buildings collapsed around them in Eastern Cape Province
At least 13 people have died in the neighboring province of KwaZulu Natal

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) -- Heavy flooding has left at least 50 people dead and hundreds homeless in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province as residents continue to battle adverse weather conditions that have plagued the country since mid-December, authorities said Friday.

"We have requested the national government to declare the Eastern Cape a national disaster," said Provincial Minister of Social Services Pemmy Majodina. "We are going to need billions of Rands to help residents reconstruct their homes and repair the damage caused by the floods."

Dozens were killed as homes and buildings collapsed around them as a result of the flooding, which washed away bridges and destroyed roads, she said.

Authorities continue to search for at least two flood victims, Majodina said.

Many rural residents in the Eastern Cape live in mud hits that are unable to withstand heavy flooding.

Eighteen others have died during recent electrical storms, Majodina added.

In the neighboring province of KwaZulu Natal, at least 13 people have been killed by flooding and storms.