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State of national disaster declared due to floods in South Africa

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State of national disaster declared due to floods in South Africa

Pretoria, Apr 19 (Prensa Latina) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster to help the victims of the floods in the southern provinces of KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape, local media reported on Tuesday.
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The rains in the area killed almost 450 people, damaged some 4,000 homes and other infrastructure. Ramaphosa’s statement came on Monday night and clarified that such condition will be issued shortly to ensure an effective response in all spheres of government.

This is a humanitarian catastrophe that requires a massive and urgent relief effort, he said.

We will respond to this catastrophe in three phases, he added, explaining that the first will be immediate humanitarian aid.

The government preliminarily estimated the costs of last week’s heavy rains at millions of dollars, with reports of damage to buildings, roads, water, electricity, railroads and communications services.

Ramaphosa said he will call for a joint session of parliament next week so that it can play an oversight role in relief efforts. Some 4,000 people are estimated to have been displaced by the floods and a total of 30,000 affected.

Earlier, authorities ordered the deployment of some 10,000 military personnel in KwaZulu Natal province to assist in search and rescue efforts.

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