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Zandspruit residents share experiences after storm

Dozens of shacks were destroyed, trees uprooted and a billboard on the busy Beyers Naude Drive blown over.

Zandspruit residents begin clean up operations near a fallen billboard a day after a severe thunderstorm on 9 October 2017. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Zandspruit residents in western Johannesburg have shared stories of how they scrambled to take cover as Monday’s storm ravaged the informal settlement.

Dozens of shacks were destroyed, trees uprooted and a billboard on the busy Beyers Naude Drive blown over.

Emergency services officials are still assessing the true extent of the damage in the area with reports of schools and churches also not being spared.

WATCH: Severe thunderstorm rips through Gauteng

Residents have likened the thunderstorm to a tornado that swirled through the township within seconds, leaving a trail of destruction.

A big steel advertising billboard fell onto some of the shacks.

Shadrack Morobe was travelling in a car when the board started swaying and describes what he calls “a near-death experience”.

“It moved a few times before falling down. The wind was very strong.”

This mother says she and her children hid under the beds.

“It happened in a few minutes. The wind destroyed everything.”

Residents are now starting with the clean-up operation, hoping they will be safe again before dark.

GALLERY: Massive hail storm hits Gauteng