Speed Reads

'apocalyptic scenes'

Rescuers search through rubble as death toll from South Africa flooding nears 450

The death toll from flooding in South Africa that began last week has reached 443 with around four dozen people still missing, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Heavy rains in the country's KwaZulu-Natal province on Sunday after heavy rains caused floods and mudslides that devastated slums made up of cobbled-together "informal dwellings." Thousands of people have been left homeless after the flooding destroyed buildings and disrupted power and water services.

One provincial government official said the heavy rains that caused the flooding represented "one of the worst weather storms in the history of our country."

By Tuesday, the Times reported, "hundreds of aid workers and volunteers" were on the scene, searching through thigh-high water in wet suits and life vests for the those still unaccounted for — or for their bodies.

"It's a good moment because at least one family is going to get their family member back. It's at least going to give them closure," said Albert Powrie, a medical officer from the Cape Town Fire Department, after examining the recently-discovered corpse of a young girl.  

Read the full Times coverage here.