Storms, hail expected SA Weather Service warns of more storms during rest of the week-

2013-10-29 00:00

THE South African Weather Service yesterday issued a warning to KZN residents, saying that thunderstorms, hail and constant rain were predicted for the rest of the week.

Two children died, several people were injured and roads and homes were damaged by heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday.

Forecaster Wisani Maluleke warned that the province should brace itself for a week of severe thunderstorms.

“We will be seeing thunderstorms throught the KZN region during the next week, which will be accompanied by hail and strong winds. Most thunderstorms will occur in the afternoons with a 60% chance of rain every day,” he said.

The provincial government has launched a mopping-up operation following the heavy downpours.

The MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has dispatched disaster officials to assess the extent of the damage.

Indications show that the hardest hit areas are the Ugu District and some parts of eThekwini. The MEC has expressed her deepest condolences to the bereaved family whose children died.

“It appears that the province has experienced heavy rains, which may have resulted in some damage. Our disaster officers are currently visiting all the districts in the province to assess any destruction and loss, and also provide relief where necessary,” she said.

Dube issued a warning to communities and motorists, urging them to be on high alert.

“As the summer season is expected to be characterised by very wet weather, those taking long trips are urged to drive with extra care as the roads will be slippery and visibility poor.”

She said low-level bridges were also most likely to pose risks, adding that rural communities were warned against crossing rivers, even where a stream seemed less threatening.

Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi said a stretch of road in Hillcrest had been rendered unusable by the heavy rain.

“The stretch of road between Mill and Ridge roads is still closed, we expect it to be open by Tuesday, but there is a lot of work to be done. Officials are still trying to repair the partial collapse of the road and we urge motorists to use alternate routes to avoid delays. There are a number of alternate routes and the M13 can be used as well.”

Meanwhile, eThekwini’s disaster management centre was inundated with calls from distraught residents who were affected by the heavy storms on Saturday. The municipality is still assessing the extent of the damage and will provide the necessary assistance to victims. Emergency teams remain on high alert and residents are urged to be vigilant at all times.

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