Man dies after being struck by lightning as thunderstorm causes havoc in KZN
The storm damaged 173 homes and affected 1 211 people.
A man died after being struck by lightning in Sithembile, KwaZulu-Natal, on Monday night, while six people were injured when roofs and walls collapsed on them.
173 homes damaged
The KZN Cogta department said the thunderstorm ripped through the area on Monday night and lasted for about 45 minutes.
It said the storm damaged 173 homes and affected 1 211 people.
“The damage caused includes flooding in numerous households within the township and fallen trees resulting in blocked roads. There was also significant damage to infrastructure, including roads, fences, and bridges.
“Several businesses suffered losses including farmers who lost livestock and crops.”
It added that some of the people injured during the storm were rushed to hospital, while others were treated at their homes.
KZN disaster management teams also responded to a storm in the Umgungundlovu District Municipality.
“Reports indicate that a few houses were damaged in different local municipalities, with no injuries or fatalities reported at this time. However, assessments are also continuing in these areas.”
Blankets, plastic sheets, mattresses, and food parcels were given to the families affected by the severe storms, while community halls were made available for temporary shelter.
Recent storms ‘alarming’
KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi said the severe storms that have been experienced in KZN recently are “alarming” and a result of global warming.
“We are deeply concerned about the recurring devastating rains in our province, which is an alarming indication of the impact of global warming,” she said.
Sithole-Moloi also urged residents to pay attention to the warnings issued by the KZN Cogta department when severe weather hits the province.
“While some weather incidents are unavoidable, we encourage our residents to heed warnings and relocate to safer areas when advised. We have also collaborated with other departments, such as social development and human settlements, to ensure that the victims receive support in different forms.”
On Wednesday, the South African Weather Service warned that the eastern part of the country, including some parts of KZN, would again see isolated showers and thundershowers.