Johannesburg: At least 60 people have been killed in flooding in South Africa, a local official said on Wednesday, as President Cyril Ramaphosa flew into the deluged eastern region of the country. Heavy rains have lashed South Africa in recent days, with the southern and eastern parts of the country badly hit since last weekend. “Our hearts go out particularly to families and communities who have been directly affected by death, injury and the loss of property,” Ramaphosa said in a statement after returning from crisis talks in Egypt on Libya and Sudan.

“This situation calls on all of us to pull together as a country to reach out to affected communities.” The toll jumped from 33 on Tuesday, as rescuers continued to comb debris for those who might be trapped underneath landslides. In addition to collapsed buildings and flooded roads, sewer lines were blocked and electricity pylons had toppled over. South African military personnel have been dispatched to help rescue and evacuation efforts. The SA Weather Services warned more heavy rain and gale force winds were expected, which could threaten low-lying bridges and roads.

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