Tue. Feb 25th, 2020

KZN latest: Province battered by manic storms on Thursday [photos]

Emergency services are battling to control the impact. KZN authorities confirmed that the death toll has risen to 16 since 25 October 2019.

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Most parts of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) were hit by severe storms this week, with the South African Weather Service (SAWS) predicting more thunderstorms for 14 and 15 November.

This follows after a tornado tore through an electrical sub-station near Pietermaritzburg, followed by a second tornado unleashing havoc on Bergville early on Thursday.

Horrific images of a taxi being swept away by floods circulated online – thankfully, all the passengers survived with minor injuries.

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Caption: “[CAMPS DRIFT] Taxi swept off bridge into the Duzi river”. / Image via Twitter: @ER24EMS

And while emergency services are battling to control the impact, authorities in KZN confirmed that 16 people have died since 25 October 2019, as a result of the severe weather conditions.

Cooperative Governance MEC, Sipho Hlomuka the “whole province and all districts have disaster management teams assessing the damage”. He added:

“They are on standby to ensure that whatever that might happen today [Thursday].”

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Caption: “KZN department of education has asked schools to send pupils home after severe storm predictions. The SA Weather Service warned that the worst was not over for KZN on Thursday & Friday.” / Image via Twitter: @EricanSA

KZN weather warnings


According to the South African Weather Service, residents can expect continued storms until around 23:00. The warning was issued earlier today:

“Severe Thunderstorms- With a possibility of strong damaging winds, hail and heavy downpours leading to flooding have been observed over parts of Uthukela DM, moving eastward’s (KZN).”

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Caption: “KZN tornados. that’s my mom’s house by the way. indoda ayikhali” / Image via Twitter: @Gcinani_Mlambo

Amajuba, Umzinyathi, Ilembe and Ethekwini

In addition, severe thunderstorms were observed over parts of the Amajuba, Umzinyathi, Ilembe and Ethekwini district municipalities, with a possibility of “strong damaging winds, hail, and downpours leading to flooding”.

Umkhanyakude, Zululand and King Cetshwayo

Further warnings were issued for Umkhanyakude, Zululand and King Cetshwayo, after a severe thunderstorm was observed moving eastwards.

Watch: New Hanover outside Pietermaritzburg 

Devastating scenes of death, destruction and despair played out in New Hanover outside Pietermaritzburg a day after, 13 November 2019, a tornado ripped through the area, killing two people and leaving 18 injured and hundreds homeless. The community in Mpolweni had more than 200 houses before the tornado, but yesterday only four complete structures remained. Apart from the houses, classrooms were flattened, trees uprooted and water tanks damaged. Video: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)


Severe Thunderstorms are also observed over southern parts of KZN, south of Ixopo, moving “eastwards with the possibility of damaging winds, and heavy downpours leading to flooding.”

Speaking to East Coast Radio, Weather forecaster, Wisani Maluleke warns:

“People will need to be cautious especially those who are driving, they should make sure that they should not be driving through the bridges because there have been a lot of accidents where cars are swept away because of the over flowing rivers.”

The storm is moving eastward into coastal areas “with the possibility of hail and strong winds”.

Storm Report SA shared a detailed video of the Bergville tornado on Twitter. The video was taken from social media and no credit can be ascertained at this time.

Branches close, children sent home

Standard Bank issued a notice on Twitter, informing customers use Internet banking or the banking app as most branches in KZN will be closed “for the safety of customers and staff.”

In addition, the KZN Department of Education announced that all learners who are not writing exams in 14 November “must be released immediately to go home due to predicted bad weather conditions”.

“Those who are writing must continue with their planned sessions and released immediately after finishing. Where possible, parents must be informed to collect their children to ensure safe return home”.

Watch: Bergville tornado

Watch: More videos

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