Duduza tornado ‘like a snake’

2011-10-03 14:38

The tornado that hit Duduza on the East Rand felt like a signal that the world was going to end, local residents said today.

“It was like a snake with big eyes and its figure was made from the cloud,” said Foster Mhlathi.

Another resident, Doctor Maseko, said: “I saw the heavens open and I thought that this was Armageddon.”

Maseko’s house, along with hundreds of others, were destroyed when a tornado descended on the township, near Nigel, last night.

An eight-year-old child died and more than 160 people were injured.

“I was thrown out of my bed when it came, and my electricity blew. Before I knew it, my roof had flown away and I was looking up at the sky. Luckily my daughter wasn’t at home,” said Maseko.

A woman sat on a couch surrounded by the ruins of her home today, while she waited for instructions on what to do.

Christina Ngwenya said her grandchildren had to be taken to hospital after the walls of her house collapsed on them, breaking their legs.

“This house is not built properly. There is no cement and no foundation. We don’t know where to stay now.”

Many residents spent Sunday night at the Duduza multi-purpose centre.

“Everything is full there, and we don’t know what to do. There are still so many kids here that are missing,” Ngwenya said.

Maseko said he also had nowhere to stay.

“Everything is gone. My TV, my furniture. I didn’t even go to work today. The ANC will take four years to rebuild this. I know it will never happen,” he said.

The streets were littered with baby prams, broken television screens, furniture and corrugated iron roofing from houses hundreds of metres away.

Mhlathi said: “Now I don’t know where to sleep and I don’t have anything to eat. There are three people staying in my house and the rain is going to come back again today.”

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