Three killed, child orphaned in another KZN lightning strike tragedy

2016-02-22 14:29
The ruins of a mud house destroyed by a severe hailstorm on the South Coast at the weekend.

The ruins of a mud house destroyed by a severe hailstorm on the South Coast at the weekend. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Three family members died as a result of a violent lightning storm along the South Coast on Saturday, leaving a seven-year-old child orphaned.

The boy’s mother (63), a sister (28) and his sister’s eight-year-old child died during the severe storm at Masamini village, in uMzimkhulu municipality.

Local councillor Mduduzi Tshibase said the boy was rushed to hospital for help.

Tshibase said a man also died as result of lightning at Lukhetheni on the same day.

The KZN south coast has seen a dozen casualties during violent lightning storms over the past week.

At least 50 people were also reportedly injured on Saturday, when lightning struck people who were attending a soccer match.

In the uMzimkhulu municipality, more than 80 households were affected by the storms and disaster management personnel were dispatched to affected areas, led by the local Mayor Mphuthumi Mpabanga, said Tshibase.

KZN remains at risk for more lightning strikes. UKZN agrometeorology lecturer Dr Alistair Clulow said recently the province is a magnet for lightning and rural areas are at highest risk.

“Thatch roofs and mud walls attract lightning because they trap water,” said Clulow.

Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube who visited some families last week, has also ordered that more lightning conductors be provided to the affected areas and she also sent additional disaster management teams to support the survivors.

“We are deeply saddened by this latest tragedy which happens barely a day after we were still trying to come to terms with the double tragedy of KwaMachi in Harding.

“We reiterate our call to the public, particularly in the rural areas, to exercise caution as we are in the middle of the summer season when incidents of this nature tend to occur most frequently,” said Dube-Ncube.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  lightning

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