World leaders have sent messages of condolence to South Africa following the deaths reported in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal following heavy rains.
So far, 341 people have been reported dead, as emergency responders continue to comb the affected areas in a search and rescue operation.
Provincial authorities said more than 40,000 people have been affected by the rains.
KwaZulu-Natal experienced heavy downpour over the weekend, triggering floods that caused landslides, destroyed buildings, roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
Following that tragedy, the international community has rallied behind South Africa, sending messages of condolence.
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the organization stands ready to offer support to South Africa.
“I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life and damage as a result of the flooding in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, and offer my condolences to the families of the victims,” he said.
Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye said: “On behalf of the Government and people of Burundi, and on my own behalf, I express my heartfelt condolences to my brother Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, following the devastating floods which killed and injured several people. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken also sent a message of condolence to South Africa, assuring the country of his nation’s support.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life due to heavy flooding in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Our condolences go out to the families of those lost, as we stand with the people and government of South Africa at this difficult time,” he said.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry sent out a statement in solidarity with South Africa.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the condolences of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to the government and people of the friendly Republic of South Africa for the victims of the floods that hit the city of Durban, which resulted in a number of victims, injured and missing,” the statement reads.
UNICEF’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Mohamed Fall joined his fellow global leaders in expressing his condolences. He linked the deadly floods to climate change.
“Our hearts go out to the #children & families impacted by devastating floods in #SouthAfrica w/ our deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones. The most vulnerable around the world continue to pay the highest price from the impacts of Climate Change,” he said.