KZN community counts cost of freak storm

2014-03-18 12:22
Octogenarians Hlulekike Chonco (left) and friend Nomusa Ngcobo try to repair the damage caused to their home by a freak storm that ripped through the Emmaus area near Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal. (Claudine Senekal, Sapa)

Octogenarians Hlulekike Chonco (left) and friend Nomusa Ngcobo try to repair the damage caused to their home by a freak storm that ripped through the Emmaus area near Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal. (Claudine Senekal, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - Residents and officials were on Tuesday counting the cost of a freak storm that ripped through the community of Emmaus in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs department spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the province's MECs would be visiting the area, about 15km from Bergville.

He said the storm that struck shortly after 17:00 on Monday had put the 156-bed Emmaus hospital out of action.

Patients had been transferred to other provincial hospitals with some going as far afield as Grey's Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, some 200km away.

One person was killed in the storm and scores of properties, houses and a school were damaged in the storm that some residents said lasted less than 10 minutes.

Octogenarian Hlulekike Chonco said: "The skies were just black and there were strong winds. We just held on to each other and prayed."

Chonco and fellow octogenarian Nomusa Ngcobo fled with Chonco's granddaughter Nondumiso to a shack when the roof of their house blew off.

Another woman, Hlengiwe Mhlanga, who was cutting wood from a tree uprooted in the storm, said she was grabbing the wood as she was without electricity.

"Everything is wet, including the panties I am wearing," she said.

Pupils and parents could be seen viewing the damage to Bambazi High School, that had its roof ripped off.

Mabaso said one person was killed by lightening in uPhongolo and another 18 were reported to have been injured.

He said the department, which was responsible for disaster relief in the province, would issue another statement later on Tuesday.
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.



12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.