16-month-old among 3 killed as storm leaves trail of destruction in Tongaat

A suspected tornado caused havoc on the North Coast, thus far claiming the lives of three people.

A 16-month-old baby was killed during a structural collapse in Zondi Street in Sandfields, Tongaat, when a storm hit the North Coast yesterday afternoon.

While it’s suspected that a tornado caused the widespread destruction, this has not been confirmed by the South African Weather Service.

According to Reaction Unit South Africa’s (Rusa) Prem Balram, the baby, her twin sister and their mother, were crushed by a lounge wall that collapsed during the storm.

“The other twin suffered critical injuries and her mother minor injuries, and they were rushed to hospital,” says Balram.

As the North Coast deals with the aftermath of the storm, the death toll continues to rise.

A 39-year-old woman was killed by a structural collapse in her home on Rama Drive, also in Sandfields, and thus far one death has been reported in Magwaveni township, outside Tongaat.

Severe damage to homes and infrastructure can be seen across Tongaat and surrounding areas. Photo: Reaction Unit.

To date, first responders have attended to more than 76 callouts related to flooding, structural collapse and medical emergencies.

Homes in La Mercy, Sandfields, Fairbreeze, Seatides and Desainagar were severely affected by the devastation.

According to Rusa, first responders initially attended to the Mangwaveni area in Tongaat where the roofs of multiple homes were ripped off by heavy winds and several people were injured.

Calls alerting them of other affected areas then started to pour in after the wind subsided.

“Roads were blocked by uprooted trees and first responders had to use alternative routes to reach emergencies,” adds Balram.

eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda is expected to visit the affected areas later today to assess the extent of the damage.

Also read: KZN battered by severe weather: At least 5 dead

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