KZN storms: Residents warned to brace for more bad weather

As affected residents of Tuesday's tornado in New Hanover, Pietermaritzburg pick up the pieces, the eThekwini Municipality has warned residents of a looming downpour on Thursday and Friday.

In a statement released by municipality spokesperson Mandla Nsele on Wednesday, they warn: "severe thunderstorms accompanied by heavy downpours are expected over most parts of KwaZulu-Natal from Thursday into Friday afternoon".

"Improvement is expected from Friday evening, however, there will still be some rain in places over KwaZulu-Natal," Nsele said.

A video of the tornado forming was circulated on social media on Tuesday evening.

News24 reported on Wednesday that two people had been confirmed dead while several others were injured.

Eskom's technicians found that 15 networks in the Mpolweni, Dalton, Wartburg, Albert Falls and Swayimani areas had been affected, leaving around 15 000 people without power.

The power utility was working on restoring the region's grid.

On Wednesday, KZN premier Sihle Zikalala led a delegation of provincial government staff to assess the extent of damage in New Hanover to provide interim relief for affected parties.

Nsele advised that the anticipated downpour could result in flooding.

Flooding of settlements, both formal and informal, as well as the closure of low-lying bridges, is possible.

The storms which will be accompanied by lightning, hail and strong winds may pose danger to life, vehicles and structural damage.

As the statement puts it, the current forecast confirmed by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) shows storm activity commencing at 13:00 on Thursday, with the peak centered over the south-central region between uMlazi and Pinetown, moving off by 18:00.

The northern areas between Durban North and Tongaat are expected to experience thunderstorms tomorrow between 23:00 and 08:00 on Friday morning that will see high-intensity rainfall in excess of average rainfall.

WATCH: 'The wall collapsed. She was trapped' - heartbreak as KZN tornado claims lives, destroy homes

At the same time, the municipality said the city’s call centre phone lines have been affected and are not operating optimally.

The City is working to address the issue in order for the public to reach the City to receive the required assistance.

"In the interim, water, roads and other engineering-related complaints can be logged using the City's WhatsApp number 073 148 3477," Nsele advised.

The public will be notified once the lines are restored.

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