UPDATE SOUTH AFRICA
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President Cyril Ramaphosa Declares National State of Disaster Following KZN Floods

Article by: Emma Clayfield

BREAKING NEWS: President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially declared a National State of Disaster following the despairing floods that occurred recently in parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

President Ramaphosa addressed the nation this evening, in an attempt to confront the consequential damage caused by the recent floods, which not only left many homesless, businesses closed, jobs lost but also led to the death of over 400 people in the northern parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

In his address this evening Ramaphosa said; There is still so much more that needs to be done to restore homes, lives and livelihoods. Let us all work together, as a united and determined nation, to recover and rebuild from this tragic disaster.

Heavy rainfall and flooding have also been experienced in the Eastern Cape, particularly in the districts of Alfred Nzo, Joe Gqabi and OR Tambo, where roads, bridges and houses have been extensively damaged, especially in the Port St Johns’ area said Ramaphosa.

The President then went on to assure that; Government will be responding to this disaster in three phases:
First, we will focus on immediate humanitarian relief, ensuring that all affected persons are safe and that their basic needs are met.

Second, we will focus on stabilisation and recovery, rehousing people who have lost homes and restoring provision of services. Third, we will focus on reconstruction and rebuilding, says the President

The Minister of Finance has said that a R1 billion is immediately available, and will be approaching Parliament for the appropriation of additional resources.
The floods are a tragic reminder of the increasing frequency of extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change

The SA Police Service and the South African National Defence Force have been leading search and rescue efforts, with a total of 247 rescue operations to date.T his includes the deployment of SAPS personnel, diving teams, canine units and various vessels

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