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In wake of tornado, KZN warned to expect more thunderstorms, hail & rain

Despite the challenging circumstances with no power in the area, emergency services have been working throughout the night to rescue people trapped in their homes due to the floods.

The aftermath of a severe storm in Mpolweni in KwaZulu-Natal on 13 November 2019. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - While the community of Mpolweni is still trying to assess the damage of the tornado which ripped through their town on Tuesday evening, the South African Weather Service has warned of more thunderstorms, hail and rain on Wednesday afternoon.

Despite the challenging circumstances with no power in the area, emergency services have been working throughout the night to rescue people trapped in their homes due to the floods.

While KwaZulu-Natal’s Cooperative Governance Department has confirmed that people have died in the recent storm, it could not yet release a number.

The South African Weather Service's Wayne Venter said more rainfall was expected in the province this week.

“We are expecting some heavy rainfalls over parts of KZN and as well on Thursday and Friday, which could result in possible flooding in some areas. We urge people to take care especially close to the coastal and adjacent areas of KZN over the next couple of days.”

WATCH: Video goes viral of tornado in KZN

A provincial government delegation is expected to visit the affected areas on Wednesday morning to assess the extent of the damage.

But what causes a tornado?

Francois Engelbrecht from the Climate Modeller at the Global Change Institute at Wits University explained to Eyewitness News the formation and effects of a tornado.

“It is effectively a rapidly rotating column of air that stretches from the base of a thunderstorm cloud all the way to the surface and the wind speed that can be achieved with a tornado, in most extreme cases, can reach 500 kilometres per hour.”

Earlier this year, heavy rain wrecked parts of the province killing more than 50 people and leaving hundreds displaced.

GALLERY: Tornado leaves trail of destruction in Mpolweni

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