KwaZulu-Natal hail storm: Woman missing, child struck by lightning

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Disaster management teams have begun mop-up operations in storm-battered parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Hail was recorded in Pietermaritzburg and more bad weather was expected to hit the province.
  • A woman is missing after she was swept away by a river and a 10-year-old is in hospital after the child was struck by lightning.

Disaster management teams throughout KwaZulu-Natal have been mobilised after severe storms battered the Pietermaritzburg Midlands on Wednesday.

Images were distributed via social media of hail the size of tennis balls.

WATCH | Widespread damage as Pietermaritzburg battered by hail stones the size of tennis balls

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Senzo Mzila said on Thursday that "severe storms struck the province last night and left large-scale destruction in their wake".

He said disaster management teams were responding to various reports.

"Yesterday (Wednesday), the department issued a warning in which it referred to reports from the South African Weather Service that inclement weather conditions could strike large parts of the province. The weather forecast indicated the possibility of hail, severe thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rains.

"The department can now confirm that in the late afternoon yesterday, a hail storm hit parts of Msunduzi and the Midlands where several houses were damaged. The storm also caused blackouts in a number of suburbs and technicians from the municipality are now working on the ground to restore the grid."

ALSO READ | Eastern Cape storm: Severe weather wreaks havoc at Mthatha airport, damages schools and homes

Mzila said that in Umlazi F Section in Durban, a woman was missing and was believed to have been swept away when she crossed a local river.

"She was apparently part of a group of three people who were crossing the Umlazi River when they lost their footing and were overcome by the gushing water. Two of them were able to make their way to safety while the woman still remains unaccounted for."

He said that in uMuziwabantu municipality in the Bhudlu area, a 10-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after he was struck by lightning.

"In a separate incident, strong winds and heavy rains damaged several households in the area. Disaster management teams are still assessing the extent of the damages and an update will be issued to the media soon."

READ | Widespread damage as Pietermaritzburg, Midlands battered by hail stones the size of tennis balls

He said Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka appealed to residents to continue to be vigilant as inclement weather conditions continued to pose a risk to communities in the province.

He said the latest warning from the South African Weather Service indicated that severe thunderstorms were expected to hit Abaqulusi, Dannhauser, eDumbe, eMadlangeni, eNdumeni, Newcastle, Nongoma, Nquthu, uLundi and uPhongolo on Thursday afternoon, going into the evening.

"This inclement weather is expected to cause localised flooding, hail, and lightning strikes. Residents in areas that could be affected are urged to exercise caution."

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Will you continue to use WhatsApp following the company announcing a change terms of service which would force users to share personal data?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the terms of service do not bother me enough to switch
53% - 8252 votes
No, I will be switching over to a new service
43% - 6809 votes
I've never used WhatsApp
4% - 620 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.99
(+0.94)
ZAR/GBP
20.43
(+0.70)
ZAR/EUR
18.17
(+0.65)
ZAR/AUD
11.53
(+0.92)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+1.21)
Gold
1839.70
(+0.19)
Silver
25.17
(+0.80)
Platinum
1083.00
(-0.23)
Brent Crude
54.74
(-0.64)
Palladium
2360.50
(0.00)
All Share
63603.26
(-0.17)
Top 40
58358.85
(-0.32)
Financial 15
12017.40
(+0.95)
Industrial 25
85061.23
(+0.29)
Resource 10
62265.14
(-1.51)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo