Heavy rains kill at least 32 in South Africa

HEAVY weather, storms and torrential rain killed at least 32 people in South Africa and damaged hundreds of homes, according to preliminary government figures released .

The worst affected regions were the densely urban Gauteng region, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria, where an estimated 12 people have died and up to 500 houses have been damaged, since the start of the rainy season in mid-December.

An estimated 20 others were killed and nine seriously injured in KwaZulu-Natal, said the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs which only had early data for four of South Africa’s nine provinces.

“An accurate determination of the exact figures of lives lost, the number of houses and infrastructure damaged, will only be determined after a full assessment and verification,” it said in a statement.

The toll could rise with the Sapa news agency last week reporting that flooding and thunderstorms had killed 17 people, some by lightning strikes, in the Eastern Cape which was not included in the government’s assessment.

A three-year-old boy was killed when a wall collapsed in a heavy Pretoria storm on Sunday, and a train driver died when his train was derailed by heavy downpours in the east of the country, local media reported Wednesday.

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