JHB officials on high alert while KZN sees ‘mega storm’

The KZN town of Bergville was hit by a tornado on Thursday, making it the second twister in the province this week.

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

JOHANNESBURG - While KwaZulu-Natal battles inclement weather that's likely to last for several more days, emergency services in Johannesburg are on high alert for possible downpours in the city.

In Gauteng, the weather service said thundershowers were likely on Thursday afternoon.

Emergency service’s Robert Mulaudzi said residents in low lying areas needed to be careful.

“We will be monitoring all our low-lying areas, especially our informal settlements since we know that when we have wet weather conditions like these they are the hardest hit, to make sure that we can respond to any emergencies which might occur in those areas.”

At the same time, officials in KwaZulu-Natal are warning residents to prepare for what they're calling a "mega-storm" that’s likely to leave a trail of destruction.

The KZN town of Bergville was hit by a tornado on Thursday, making it the second twister in the province this week.

At least 16 people have been killed in weather-related incidents in the province over the past few weeks.

Ethekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and cooperative governance MEC Sipho Hlomuka gave an update on the situation after the first tornado ripped through Hanover and the second one in Bergville.

GALLERY: Tornado leaves trail of destruction in Mpolweni

It’s not yet clear whether anyone was hurt in the latest twister in Bergville, however, the death toll from this week's thunderstorms is at least at five.

A body of a seven-year-old was discovered in the Mfuli River on Wednesday shortly after a two-year-old child was pronounced dead in a stream in Sundumbili.

In Inanda, a couple was killed when their house caved in during heavy rains and a 25-year-old woman was struck by lightning in Bergville.

Hlomuka said more flooding was expected.

He said a joint provincial operations centre has been set-up and would run from the eThekwini disaster management centre in Durban.

“We could coordinate province-wide responses to imminent crises as they unfold. This will operate 24/7

Pupils across KZN have been urged to stay away from school if they're not scheduled to write exams.

Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service has issued a warning of severe thunderstorms across all coastal areas of the country.