Disaster management teams in KwaZulu-Natal were on Saturday morning assessing the damage caused by a tornado that ripped through Utrecht on Friday night.
No injuries were reported after the tornado‚ but photographs from the area showed extensive damage. The destructive winds tore off houses’ roofs‚ downed trees and toppled vehicles.
The provincial department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs said the tornado hit at about 7pm.
“Disaster management teams were swift to respond to this incident‚ which left large parts of the Waterval correctional services facility damaged. The damage extends to 20 houses that were used by staff.
“Disaster management teams are still assessing the extent of the damage‚ but it is believed the damage is limited to Waterval. So far no injuries have been reported‚” said departmental spokesperson Lennox Mabaso.
The SA Weather Service confirmed a tornado had occurred. In a tweet‚ the weather authority said it would release more information later.
Meanwhile‚ the department said inclement weather conditions were expected to continue across the province.
It cited a SA Weather Service warning of severe thunderstorms for large parts of the province for Saturday with the possibility of strong winds‚ hail and heavy downpours in parts of uThukela‚ uMzinyathi‚ uMgungundlovu‚ Amajuba‚ iLembe‚ King Cetshwayo Zululand and uMkhanyakude districts.
“We are urging residents to be cautious‚ especially around low-lying areas or when crossing bridges. Before making any long journey‚ residents are urged to first check the weather forecast as heavy rains pose a serious risk on our roads‚” said MEC Sipho Hlomuka.
By: Nivashni Nair
Source: TMG Digital.