PICS | Tornado spotted in Ulundi as severe storm rips through KZN

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Traits of a tornado near Ulundi. (SAWS)
Traits of a tornado near Ulundi. (SAWS)

It appears that a tornado has been spotted in Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday, however the SA Weather Service (SAWS) is still awaiting a report back from the team on the ground.

This after a tornado swept through Utrecht on Friday evening following a severe storm, bringing with it heavy winds and hail.

"From the video clips that went out on social media and from what it looked like on the radar, it is very likely that it could have been a tornado that happened as it coincides with the severe storm alerts that has been issued," SAWS forecaster Jacqueline Modika told News24.

She said the province remains under watch for severe thunderstorms for Sunday. 

Disaster management teams have been deployed to the area of KwaCeza and Edlebe in Ulundi where the tornado was spotted, according to the department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).

“We have taken the decision to deploy our teams to the area although no damages or injuries were reported in this incident," said Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka in a statement.

The tornado in Utrecht left large parts of the Watervaal Correctional Services facility damaged, including 20 houses that were utilised by staff.

Earlier in November, a tornado wreaked havoc in eMpolweni, New Hanover, killing two people and injuring nearly 20. This was followed by another tornado touching down in Bergville.

The province is mourning the loss of 23 lives due to weather-related incidents since October.

A tornado is described as a rotating column of air extending from the cloud base of a cumuliform cloud and is in contact with the ground. These vortices can result in extensive damages and loss of life.

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