The Orenburg region is the worst affected area in Russia by devastating floods

Disaster teams have been activated in all KwaZulu-Natal municipalities following a level 5 warning of heavy rains in eThekwini Metro and the south coast to mitigate potential localized flooding.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) warned that there could be heavy rains in certain areas, noting that there might be more than 200 millimeters of rain in 24 hours, which could cause flooding in communities, damage to homes and displace people, especially in the extreme southeastern part of the province.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on Monday issued a statement, noting that eThekwini Metro, Umdoni, Umzumbe and Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipalities are likely to be affected.

The department reported that there was flood damage in Margate town on Sunday night due to severe thunderstorms. Businesses, roads, houses, and other public infrastructure have been severely affected.

"No injuries or fatalities have been confirmed at this stage. Our teams are currently conducting an assessment. Updates will be communicated in due course," the department said, SA News reported. "The public is advised to take precautionary measures by moving to safer places and avoid traveling to mitigate risk."

It added, "These thunderstorms may cause localized damage to settlements, vehicles, livelihood, livestock and power surges due to excessive lightning. Public facilities, such as community halls, are open as safe havens for those in need of shelter."

The department noted that the rescue teams might have to "evacuate people should they foresee high risk of danger due to the inclement weather," adding that motorists are strongly advised to avoid traveling during this period as bridges may become flooded, posing a risk to life.

President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year announced that his administration has introduced the Climate Change Response Fund in collaboration with the private sector to address climate change problems in South Africa.

Ramaphosa pointed out that before the government could properly recover and rebuild following the 2022 floods in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and North West, the country once again witnessed more flooding in 2023, causing additional damage to livelihoods, property and the local economy.

Heavy rains and floods in the KwaZulu-Natal have reportedly led to the deaths of a woman and a 7-year-old boy in January.