Tornado damages 30 homes

2012-06-24 17:03
Tornado damage (Neels Moller, ER24)

Tornado damage (Neels Moller, ER24)

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Johannesburg - Thirty homes have been damaged in an apparent tornado in Kestel in the Free State, the provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs department says.

Spokesperson Senne Bogatsu said in a statement on Sunday: "There are 30 households affected in the Tlholong township where houses have been damaged and others ruined."

She blamed the destruction on a tornado, and Weather SA forecaster Michael Nethavani said the storm did appear to have been a tornado.

"According to the reports we are getting in, it was a tornado," he said.

"We are still in the dark as to where it happened," he said, but added that it would have hit somewhere in the eastern part of the province.

The extent of the damage, and the total number of people affected, still had to be established by a joint operations centre in the district, said Bogatsu.

"A community hall was named as an evacuation centre, but only an elderly couple accepted the offer as other affected families were seemingly catered for by the community," she said.

Five people were taken to hospital and one of them was in a "serious condition".

Six households in the Eeram area were also affected by the storm, but Bogatsu did not elaborate.

Four people were taken to hospital.

The joint operations centre was assessing structural damage, establishing basic needs such as food, blankets, counselling, and injuries and was also removing debris.

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