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By Marizka Coetzer


Gauteng bad weather: Warning of more rains in the coming days

Intense storms wreak havoc across Gauteng with uprooted trees and damaged roofs.

More intense thunderstorms such as those causing havoc across Gauteng this week, were possible, a weather forecaster said.

The recent storms have left trees uprooted, roofs ripped off buildings and shacks blown away, following intense thunderstorms in Pretoria and Johannesburg the past few days.

More storms and rain expected

Vox weather forecaster Michelle Cordier said more storms and rain were expected over the next few days.

Cordier, however, said there was always a chance of extreme storms developing like those experienced over Johannesburg and Pretoria earlier this week.

“Even if there is a 30% chance of scattered thundershowers, the thunderstorms can grow in intensity,” she said.

Cordier said no warnings have been issued for the interior for the weekend yet, but added anything was possible.

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Greater parts of SA experiencing extreme heat in recent weeks

South African Weather Service forecaster Kgolo Mahlangu said the greater parts of South Africa have been experiencing extreme heat in recent weeks, which was expected to continue until Saturday in the North West, Free State and Northern Cape.

“Some places over the central and eastern parts of the country have been experiencing severe thunderstorms,” he said.

“These produced excessive lightning, hail, strong damaging winds, and heavy downpours. Conditions for further thunderstorms, with the potential of becoming severe, are expected to persist into the weekend.”

Mahlangu said the storms may lead to localised flooding of roads and settlements, the falling of trees causing damage to property and infrastructure, service disruptions due to power surges, and localised injuries and danger to life due to lightning.

Tshwane on high alert

Thabo Mabaso, City of Tshwane emergency services department deputy chief, said they remained on high alert following severe storms this week.

“Shacks and houses were blown away and trees were uprooted by a storm that ripped through parts of Tshwane on Tuesday. In Cullinan and Refilwe, multiple shacks and three houses were blown away by the storm.

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“No-one was injured and disaster management officials are conducting further assessments to determine the total number of households affected,” he said.

Mabaso said trees were uprooted in some parts of Centurion, blocking several streets and affecting electricity supply.

“The storm ripped through Hammanskraal in the north of Tshwane and Mamelodi in the east of Tshwane,” he said.

“An estimated 40 shacks were blown away in Kekana Gardens informal settlement, leaving many without shelter. Communities refused to be relocated for temporary accommodation at the Prestige Guest House. Further assessments are ongoing and no injuries were reported.”

Tree fell on shack in Mamelodi

Mabaso said a tree fell on a shack in Mamelodi, and a child was injured and taken to hospital with the uninjured mother. Two houses were also affected when trees fell on them, but no injuries were reported.

“Assessments by disaster management officials are ongoing in all areas that were affected by the storm,” he said.

ALSO READ: SA Weather Service warns of more severe thunderstorms in SA

Mabaso called on communities to observe storm safety measures by staying indoors and away from metal objects.

“Do not seek shelter under trees or tall objects. Do not go fishing or play golf, as both golf clubs and fishing rods are good conductors of electricity. Avoid crossing flooded low-lying roads, bridges and swollen streams.”

Mabaso said residents must remember that any combination of hail, strong winds, heavy rain or excessive lighting can accompany storms.

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