Flash floods killed at least twenty one people in the small town of Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal province, South African officials said Saturday.
“As of Friday, 29 December 2023, a total of 21 bodies have been recovered,” said police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda.
The floods hit the town on Christmas Day, destroying about 1,400 homes, with the death toll expected to rise as an unconfirmed number of people were still missing, he said.
Search and rescue teams have been scouring rivers to recover bodies, Netshiunda added.
The operation was expected to continue throughout the weekend.
One family in Ladysmith was preparing to bury seven of its relatives who were killed when floods swept their vehicle into the river.
Rescue teams recovered the bodies of Vincent Msimango, his wife, two children, his brother and niece, and his nephew earlier this week, local news outlet Eyewitness News reported on Saturday.