Rescue and evacuation operations are currently underway, the KZN disaster management department said in a statement.
“It’s an absolute nightmare, lots of mudslides, casualties, collapsed buildings,” Garrith Jamieson, a rescue worker, told AFP. He said there would be “more deaths”.
The risk management department in the southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal urged residents to stay at home and ordered those residing in low-lying areas to move to higher ground.
Local media are reporting between 11 and 20 deaths but these figures have not yet been confirmed.
The heavy rains are expected to continue on Tuesday, according to forecasts. [AP]