JOHANNESBURG

The death toll in South Africa’s floods and mudslides caused by heavy rains has risen to 51, an official said Wednesday.

Dube-Ncube, minister for co-operative governance of the KwaZulu-Natal province on the east coast, confirmed the fatalities to reporters.

She said more bodies were recovered from the rubble on Tuesday night by rescue workers.

Heavy rains that began Monday in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape have destroyed infrastructure and flooded homes. Mudslides also destroyed homes in the region leading to several deaths.

President Cyril Ramaphosa who returned to the country Wednesday from an African Union troika Summit in Egypt is currently visiting the flooded areas.

“As South Africans, the entire nation’s thoughts and prayers are with the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape who have been affected by the forces of nature against which they had little defense,” his office said in a statement.

The president expressed his condolences and urged fellow countrymen to join him in reaching out with assistance to the affected communities and help alleviate their hardship.

Weather forecasts are warning of more rains and strong winds in the affected regions possibly leading to more floods.

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