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Deadly floods in South Africa

At least 259 people were killed and hundreds more displaced in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal after heavy rains and flooding hit the area, causing mudslides and destroying homes. The region, which includes the eastern city of Durban, has experienced torrential rainfall since late last week, with some areas experiencing nearly 2 feet of rain. The flooding disrupted shipping from Durban port, the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa, with reports of shipping containers being swept away down major highways. Officials have blamed the high death toll on poor drainage in the low-lying areas.

The extreme weather comes as southeast Africa has been hit with three cyclones and two tropical storms since the start of the year, with 230 earlier deaths reported.

Separately, a stretch of the central US ranging from eastern Texas up through southern Minnesota was hit with tornado-producing storms, while the Northern Plains experienced a late-season blizzard.