Tornado hits KZN, ‘scores’ injured

Posted on 13 November 2019

A tornado swept through New Hanover and Greytown, north of Pietermaritzburg, on Tuesday, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

The tornado was captured on video by a number of people and footage quickly spread on social media. (Warning: To avoid hearing an expletive, mute the sound).

According to Times Live, people living in the Mshwati district were hard hit by ‘the tunnel of wind that blew through the area, uprooting trees in its wake’.

Disaster management teams were dispatched to New Hanover, said the KZN department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta).

The department also explained that houses and public infrastructure had been damaged and that ‘scores of people’ had been injured.

‘Preliminary reports received by the department indicate that a number of people who sustained injuries in the incident are receiving medical attention from surrounding hospitals. A number of homes have collapsed, countless trees have been uprooted and the electricity supply in the area has been interrupted. Our teams are working hard to provide support to the affected communities,’ said Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka.

This morning the South African Police Department confirmed that two people were killed in the storm.

‘Last night in Pietermaritzburg, SAR and the K9 Unit were called to assist New Hanover SAPS at the Mpolweni Mission area. A tornado destroyed several houses and injured several residents. SAR conducted searches, found 18 residents who sustained injuries. Two persons were declared deceased.’

South African Weather Service forecaster Jan Vermeulen told Daily Maverick that there was no prediction of more tornados forming.

He also said that the stormy weather experienced in KwaZulu-Natal was not unheard of, as November was known for ‘frequent storms, large hail and rain.’


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