PICS: Heavy storm damages houses in Bloem township

2016-05-11 16:06
A severe storm has damaged more than 20 houses in Bloem township. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

A severe storm has damaged more than 20 houses in Bloem township. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein - At first, they heard a loud bang. Then there was something that looked like a "tornado".

"In just a few seconds, the roof was gone," said Nomzwakhe Mbatha, 38, from Botshabelo outside Bloemfontein. Her house was badly damaged in a severe storm on Tuesday afternoon.

"I couldn’t believe it when I saw my house without a roof.  I didn't know what to do. I just sat down and cried and my children were very scared – I really lost a lot."

More than 20 families were affected during the storm.   

Mbatha said she was bathing at the time of the incident, while her friend Matseko Kobeli, 44, was watching TV in the living room. Four of Mbatha's children were also in the house. 

Kobeli said when she first heard the bang, she thought it was the TV.

"But when I went outside to check, I saw something that looked like a tornado..."

The roof was blown off a few seconds after. 

(Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Another resident, Neo Thisane, said their neighbours housed them on Tuesday night after their home was also damaged.  

“We are eight in the family and we are happy that our neighbours assisted us.  For now we are trying to fix the house where we can.”

Weather SA forecaster Tonny Rossouw confirmed that a severe storm hit some parts of the Free State.  

“The storm was fast moving and very quick in Botshabelo. We also experienced the same in the South of Bloemfontein, however, we only recorded 2.8mm of rain in the area,” he said.  

Spokeseprson Mangaung Metro municipality Qondile Khedama said the municipality and the provincial disaster team were on the ground to determine the kind of damage. 

“After our assessment, we will be able to determine how we can assist those who were affected,” he said.   

No injuries have been reported. 

(Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

(Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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