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21 killed as heavy storm sweeps South Africa

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No fewer than 21 people have been killed as heavy storms swept parts of South Africa over night, authorities said on Tuesday.

The deaths were reported in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province where heavy storms battered various parts of the province on Monday night, the provincial department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs said in a statement, NAN reports.

“Last night, the weather conditions worsened significantly across KZN and the heavy rain culminated in various parts of the province, claiming at least 21 lives and 32 patients in and around Durban,’’ the statement said.

Rescue teams have been responding to the incessant rain that has wreaked untold damage on the communities, said the statement.

It said efforts are being made to minimise the impact of the storm on the residents and businesses.

The Eastern Cape and Northern Cape provinces also experienced severe weather conditions.

In Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape, serious flooding prompted the South African Air Force to dispatch helicopters to assist with rescue operations.

The flooding forced the evacuation of hundreds of people to community halls and churches since Monday.

“Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Ms NN Mapisa-Nqakula said she has instructed the South African National Defence (SANDF) to help rescue and evacuate those affected by this natural disaster,’’ the SANDF said in a statement.

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