Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday declared a week-long national mourning for the 70 flood victims in what was believed to be the worst natural disaster in the country for years.

The president has instructed that the national flag fly at half-mast at every station in the country from May 1 to May 7 as a mark of respect and in observance of seven days of national mourning for people who lost their lives due to floods that have ravaged the country in the past week, his office said. The floods were caused by heavy storms that swept through the KwaZulu-Natal province and other parts of the country, killing a total of 70 people and injuring more than 50 others.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed and thousands of people were left homeless. Ramaphosa has visited flood-stricken communities and assured residents that all spheres of government will assist communities in rescue and recovery efforts. The president welcomed the material and social support extended to affected communities by various sectors of society, presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said.

Ramaphosa also expressed the profound appreciation of the government and people of South Africa for the messages of support received from governments around the world in the wake of floods, said Diko.

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