Stories of miraculous survival after furious storm wreaks havoc

2014-02-07 00:00

A STORM, with the fury of a “destructive demon”, destroyed 20 homes within the Mcitsheni area at Ezakheni on Wednesday afternoon.

The freak storm battered parts of Lady­smith, Ezakheni and Mcitsheni, with heavy winds, torrential downpours and frightening thunder and lightning.

Roofs of homes were blown away, trees were uprooted and some houses were completely destroyed in the storm.

In the midst of the devastation, stories of miraculous survival emerged yesterday.

Five-year-old Samkelisiwe Shezi and his father Sipho Shezi were forced to seek shelter inside a long drop toilet after their house was completely blown away by the strong gusts of wind.

“I thought we were going to die; it was just me and my son in our house, when it suddenly became quiet. Minutes later a wind came up; it sounded like people screaming,” said Shezi. Shezi explained that seconds later, the house started to move and crumpled around them. “I grabbed my son and we ran. Other houses around us were also falling to the ground and we headed straight for the long drop.”

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Thandeka Shezi (from another family with the same surname) was running home after attending high school. “We needed to get home; the sky had become black. I have never seen that before.”

Thandeka said she heard a loud explosion and then everything around her went black. “I woke up on the ground and people around us were screaming, saying that the lighting had killed us. The people rushed us to the nearest clinic, and we learned that we were hit by lightning.”

Ladysmith/Emnambithi Municipality gave out blankets and plastic covers for some of the roofs, and hoped to accommodate those who had lost their homes in tents, said Councillor Sabela Madinane. — Ladysmith Herald.

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