Chaos as storms batter SA

2012-09-06 22:33
(Themba Hadebe, AP)

(Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Johannesburg - Dozens of people were displaced, cars were swept away and train services disrupted as stormy weather battered large parts of the country on Thursday.

In Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal, at least 50 people were left homeless when their shacks were destroyed in landslides.

"They are being housed at a nearby community hall and have been supplied with blankets and food parcels," municipal spokeperson Thabo Mofokeng said in a statement.

Emergency and disaster officials remained on stand-by in areas where residents had been warned of possible floods as torrential rainfall was expected to continue on Friday.

In Johannesburg three vehicles were swept off a bridge on Nancefield Road in Soweto, near the Maponya Hostel.

Emergency services spokesperson Synock Matobako said no one was injured.

"Residents rushed to the scene and helped out all occupants of the three vehicles," spokesman Synock Matobako said.

Metrorail services in Gauteng were disrupted, causing major delays.

"Lightning hit a substation at Pinedene station [in Centurion] which has rendered both lines without overhead power," Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng.

The outage affected all trains on the Pretoria line to Johannesburg and back.

In Tshwane, the electricity department expressed concern over the city's high power consumption. The city urged residents to turn off non-essential items during the cold weather.

Motorists across the country were also warned to be careful on the wet and slippery roads.

In Gauteng, thunderstorms and heavy rains on Wednesday night caused flooding in Cleveland, Parktown, on the M1 highway at Smit Street, at Klipspruit Valley Road and New Canada Road in Soweto, Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said.

Read more on:    prasa  |  durban  |  pietermaritzburg  |  soweto  |  johannesburg  |  transport  |  weather

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