Gauteng father describes daughter's rescue following storm

Peter Xhali has described a heroic scene of how he sustained a cut to his head and arm when struck by hail and still managed to save his seven-year-old child.

Residents in Zandspruit clean up a day after a severe storm in the area on 9 October 2017. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – As KwaZulu-Natal begins counting the cost of a devastating storm, in Gauteng a father from Orient Hills on the West Rand has described to Eyewitness News how he rescued his seven-year-old daughter who was trapped under the rubble of their collapsed house.

Heavy rain and hail left a trail of destruction in the informal settlement, resulting in 500 people being evacuated and accommodated in the Magaliesburg community hall.

Peter Xhali has described a heroic scene of how he sustained a cut to his head and arm when struck by hail and still managed to save his seven-year-old who was trapped under the rubble when the house’s roof collapsed on her.

Xhali says she was hiding under the bed.

“She was screaming, then I thought that she was going to die. I took her out of the rubble but fortunately, she’s fine. It was a very scary moment.”

He says they have lost almost everything.

Blankets, clothes and other belongings have been stacked in their vehicles, hoping to keep it dry while rebuilding their shack.

WATCH: Gauteng storm: 'My daughter was stuck under my house'

INSURANCE COMPANIES

Insurance companies say that motorists and homeowners should use this time to verify what they are covered for to avoid disappointment in the event of a disaster.

They say they’ve seen an exponential increase in claims since heavy rains lashed large parts of Gauteng on Monday.

The numbers are expected rise even further.

Momentum’s Vickey Swanevelder said the claims lodged with them in the past 24 hours have surpassed their weekly average.

Swanevelder said one of the problems they’ve encountered is that clients do not know exactly what they are covered for.

“When there’s only third party cover on their vehicles, they might think that they are comprehensively insured, but then [only to find] they only have third party cover.”

Outsurance, meanwhile said it is expecting and prepared to deal with the high volume of claims.

Spokesperson Marthinus Visser said: “We’ve looked at processes that make it easy for clients to report claims and also extended business hours.”

Clients have been encouraged to report any damage to their properties as soon as possible so they can be assisted timeously.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)