A severe storm in the Eastern Cape has claimed the lives of six people and left more than 1,000 families homeless, with the count “ongoing” as Gift of the Givers comes to the aid of the affected families.
According to Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman, the number of homes damaged by the storm might be more than that because not everyone has been reached yet.
“In addition to the houses, businesses have been damaged by the storm, 14 clinics and three hospitals have also been damaged. The destruction is huge so we’re starting with the basics. Sometimes people just want to be comforted and someone to tell them something is being done,” Sooliman told Newzroom Afrika on Tuesday evening.
“We provided food for people, blankets and mattresses. Of course there’s far more to be done and the needs are huge compared to what we’ve done. A lot of houses have to be repaired. Children have been traumatised, all people have been traumatised and don’t know what to do. There’s no money, no savings. Family members need to come home from other parts of the country and they’re expecting to come to a home. People are not sure if they’ll see their family members.”
There will unfortunately be no breather for the affected families as the South African Weather Service (SAWS) says the chance of rainfall will increase from Wednesday.
While there isn’t any threat for severe thunderstorms across the country for the next 24 hours, there is a 60% chance of showers in parts of the province and also Gauteng.
“The chance of rainfall is going to increase from tomorrow. We are expecting a 60% of showers over the eastern areas of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and eastern parts of the Free State. More severe thunderstorms are expected in the eastern parts of the Free State and eastern parts of Eastern Cape from tomorrow.