The massive and deadly floods that struck South Africa in April were made twice as likely and more intense by global heating, scientists have calculated. The research demonstrates that the climate emergency is resulting in devastation.
Catastrophic floods and landslides hit the South African provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape on 11 April following exceptionally heavy rainfall.
South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa called the floods a “catastrophe of enormous proportions” and “the biggest tragedy we have ever seen”, later declaring a national state of disaster. At least 453 people were killed and the port of Durban, the largest in Africa, was closed, causing global disruption in the supply of food and minerals.
Other recent studies found that global heating exacerbated the storms in Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique in January.