Rescue teams sent out as storms lash Gauteng

2013-11-28 19:27
Flooding Gauteng. (Connie, Twitter)

Flooding Gauteng. (Connie, Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Heavy hailstorms hit parts of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria on Thursday afternoon, shattering windscreens, windows and roofs.

Several amateur pictures of the damage and of hail stones the size of golf balls made their appearance on Twitter later in the afternoon.

Johannesburg emergency management service's spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said severe downpours flooded parts of the West Rand by mid-afternoon, and rescue teams had been dispatched.

"There is a vehicle trapped in water under a bridge," he said.

He said a number of houses in Dobsonville, Braamfischerville, Emdeni and Kliptown in Soweto had been flooded, had their roofs blown off and their windows broken.

Residents in Florida and Roodepoort, also on the West Rand, reported trees that had fallen in the streets.

"EMS teams are currently monitoring the extent of damage in Alexandra and Diepsloot," Mulaudzi said.

"Motorists and children must avoid flooded areas."

He said no deaths had been reported.

"We will remain on high alert throughout the night. We hope the public will adhere to our calls."

Drive slowly

Tshwane emergency services was inundated with calls.

"We are trying to attend to as many incidents as we can," Tshwane EMS spokesperson Johan Pieterse said.

He said roofs had blown off in a number of informal settlements.

"People must stay inside their houses, channel the water away from their homes and report any emergencies to the service," Pieterse said.

"We are trying to get to all the people."

He urged motorists to drive slowly, put their headlights on and not to cross low water bridges.

Former head of the National Prosecuting Authority Vusi Pikoli tweeted "@VusiPikoli: Watching a hailstorm belting Tshwane my heart goes out to those caught in it!"

And sports reporter OG Molefe tweeted "@OG_Molefe: Power out, broken window.... The result of the hail storm that just passed thru".

The SA weather service said severe thunderstorms and localised flooding should also be expected in other parts of the country on Thursday night.

The Eastern Cape, North West, northern and eastern parts of the Free State as well as the Mpumalanga highveld would be affected, forecaster Jan Vermeulen said.

He said the stormy weather in Gauteng would end around 23:00.

- Were you affected? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Read more on:    sa weather service  |  johannesburg  |  weather

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