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KZN floods: More than 250 bodies in eThekwini mortuaries, says Health MEC

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Nomagugu Simelane Zulu KwaZulu Natal floods scaled



KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has confirmed the death toll in eThekwini alone as result of the floods has risen to more than 250.

The death toll went up from previous figures of 45 on Tuesday.

Speaking to eNCA on Wednesday afternoon, Simelane-Zulu said the number of bodies being found was of concern, with mortuaries under pressure.

“Our mortuaries are a bit under pressure, however, we are coping. As of late last night, we had received something close to 253 bodies in our two different mortuaries in eThekwini… we are talking about Phoenix and Pinetown,” she said.

ALSO READ: KwaZulu-Natal declared disaster area after deadly floods

“And early this morning, we gathered all our other human resources to make sure that the necessary work needed to be done… the autopsy and everything on bodies is happening,” the MEC added.

Simelane-Zulu also noted that “the clean up” process was not complete, saying the death toll could rise yet again.

“We are just crossing our fingers that we don’t find any other bodies, but the reality of the situation that we are faced with is we actually might,” she said.

According to the KZN government, the official death toll in the province currently stood at 59 of Tuesday.

While 45 deaths were reported in eThekwini, 14 people in the iLembe District, in areas such as Ndwedwe, Kwadukuza, lost their lives.

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited flood-stricken parts of KZN – areas including Clermont, Lindelani, Ntuzuma, Emawoti and Umzinyathi on Wednesday.

 READ MORE: KZN flood aftermath: DPE works to clear roads to Durban Port

As Ramaphosa surveyed the damage and interacted with locals, he assured flood victims that government would intervene to help families affected by the floods.

Ramaphosa passed his condolences on to the bereaved families.

“You are not alone on this journey. We will walk with you. We will help you in all the ways that we can. We know that your hearts are broken because of what has happened but we are here to say that we are with you,” he said.

Additional reporting by Narissa Subramoney