South Africa flooding death toll climbs to at least 443

The floods have wreaked devastation, as buildings collapsed and homes were swept away by the surging waters.

More than 440 people have died as devastating floods swept the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.

And the death toll could rise further still, with 63 people still missing according to local authorities.

The flooding, triggered by heavy rains, left a trail of destruction, after some areas saw a month's worth of rainfall in one day.

Residents had to flee their homes as buildings were swept away, while in Durban port, the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa, surging waters carried away shipping containers and left them in a jumbled pile.

Buildings have collapsed and road infrastructure is severely damaged, with the overall economic damage estimated at 5.6 billion ZAR (about £300 million), according to provincial premier Sihle Zikalala.

The continuous bad weather has also impacted search and rescue operations and caused the death of at least one rescuer.

In Durban port, floodwaters carried away shipping containers and left them in a jumbled pile Credit: AP

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday declared a national state of disaster, announcing a three-pronged approach in how the government intends to deal with the disaster, focusing on immediate relief, recovery and rebuilding.

Mr Ramaphosa also said the government's approach would be thoroughly overseen and corruption would not be tolerated in dealing with the disaster. So far, authorities have been providing shelter for several hundred people whose homes and possessions were washed away, and technicians are working to restore electricity to areas where it was knocked out.

Fourteen crocodiles that were swept away from a farm north of Durban have been recaptured, officials said. Africa's south-east coast faces the brunt of seaborne weather conditions and scientists believe global warming is only making the region more unstable.

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