Hundreds left homeless in KZN as storms wreak havoc

The provincial Cooperative Governance Department said that since January, more than 200 lives have been lost due to weather-related incidents.

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

DURBAN - Inclement weather conditions continue to wreak havoc in KwaZulu-Natal where two people have reportedly been killed and hundreds of houses have been destroyed.

The provincial Cooperative Governance Department said that since January, more than 200 lives have been lost due to weather-related incidents.

On Christmas Eve, severe thunderstorms hit the KZN South Coast and destroyed over 300 houses in the Harry Gwala District.

On Christmas Day, the northern part of the province was hit by powerful storms that claimed the life of 20-year-old Musawenkosi Zulu in the Ulundi area.

The Department of Cooperative Governance’s Senzelwe Mzila: "Yesterday, in the Msinga Municipality there was an incident with one fatality as a result of a lightning strike."

Mzila said on Thursday that 54 houses were destroyed by severe thunderstorms in Msinga while 30 homes were flattened by strong winds in the Ndedwe area.

Mzila has called for caution on Friday, with harsh weather conditions expected in several areas including the provincial economic hub eThekwini.

STORM WARNINGS

Meanwhile, the weather service has issued several alerts for severe thunderstorms across the country.

Inclement weather is on the cards for Gauteng, the North West, the Free State and Northern Cape on Saturday while parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal can expect rainy weather conditions from Friday afternoon.

Forecaster Kumsa Masizana has urged residents in KwaZulu-Natal to exercise extreme caution as the rain is expected to be accompanied by strong winds and hail.

"We do also have another watch alert today for severe thunderstorms. We are currently monitoring that over the entire province of Mpumalanga and parts of KwaZulu-Natal. That development can start anytime from this afternoon. There is currently some development over Mpumalanga along the escarpment and moving towards KwaZulu-Natal."

Additional reporting by Veronika Mokhoali.