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New floods in eastern South Africa displace more than 300

JOHANNESBURG (AP) – More than 300 people have been evacuated from their homes as a result of renewed heavy rains, flooding and mudslides in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, weeks after severe flooding killed more than 400 people and displaced more than 40,000 others.

The new rains have damaged roads, homes and electricity infrastructure largely in the northern parts of the province since last Friday, according to provincial authorities and emergency personnel.

KwaZulu-Natal province, which includes the port city of Durban, remains on high alert.

The new emergency has overstretched local officials who have appealed for assistance from South Africa’s national government, Kwazulu-Natal Provincial Minister for local government Sipho Hlomuka said in a press briefing.

“We are yet to receive a full comprehensive report on the impact of these latest heavy rains, but as reports come in a worrying picture is emerging,” said Hlomuka.

They also called for the deployment of the South African National Defence Force to the province to assist with disaster management, he said.

The floods that engulfed KwaZulu-Natal last month caused an estimated USD1.5 billion in damage to property, said officials.

The communities most affected by the new flooding include Umlazi, Amanzimtoti, Umdloti, Isipingo, Tongaat and Wentworth, which were also badly affected by the previous flooding.