The supercell storm that ripped through Mpumalanga between Ermelo and Piet Retief on Friday was a tornado, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) has confirmed.
After speaking to the owner of Taaiboschspruit farm, Kurt Paul, the SAWS established that a tornado, measuring EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, passed through the area.
Paul’s farm was damaged extensively.
“According to Mr Paul, the houses of seven families were destroyed, as well as approximately 200ha of pine forest, due to this storm,” the SAWS said in a statement.
It said a severe thunderstorm warning was issued just after 19.34pm on Friday in the Gert Sibande area.
The SAWS said one of the thunderstorms intensified into a supercell thunderstorm south east of Ermelo and remained over the area for about 40 minutes.