A flooded street in Lachen Valley, in India's Sikkim state, on October 4, 2023, following a flash flood caused by intense rainfall

Heavy rains and floods in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal have reportedly led to the deaths of a woman and a 7-year-old boy, while a man was missing.

KwaZulu-Natal's Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) revealed that a young child and a woman were killed, while one adult male was missing after flooding in the Msunduzi river swept away a car in Pietermaritzburg near Henley Dam.

According to the IPSS Search and Rescue team, the vehicle was removed from the river by South African National Defense Force and local community members, following which the dead bodies were recovered.

"Our response teams have confirmed the tragic loss of a seven-year-old boy, who drowned and was subsequently recovered by the search and rescue team," the department said, Times Live reported. "Additionally, numerous houses and road infrastructure sustained damage."

Meanwhile, COGTA revealed extensive damage had occurred due to flooding in two districts -- iLembe and uMgungundlovu -- resulting in one confirmed fatality in Mandeni where an intense rainstorm lasting about 15 minutes damaged homes and infrastructure.

"Our disaster assessment teams are on-site working to establish the full extent of destruction and assess the number of affected people," the department added.

Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, the department's Member of the Executive Council (MEC), urged the families living in the area to immediately report if their loved ones were missing after the rains.

"It is indeed regrettable that we begin the year on a somber note, having lost another life due to inclement weather. We call for cooperation between the government and our communities to remain vigilant during such disruptive weather events," Sithole-Moloi said.

"We also urge community leaders, including Izinduna and councilors, to assist us to disseminate information about the risks posed by these heavy rains to our communities. We must adhere to safety warnings to minimize the impact of these rainstorm," she added.

According to the MEC, the response teams continue to "assess and co-ordinate with relevant departments to provide assistance to those in need during this challenging period."

This news came just a few days after South Africa's IPSS medical emergency services revealed that four dead bodies were recovered on Dec. 28, following the floods in Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal.

Two weeks ago, the South African Weather Service issued a warning about severe thunderstorms with strong damaging winds and heavy rainfall leading to floods in some localities.