Official death toll from KZN storms rises to 16

Official death toll from KZN storms rises to 16

Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal say 16 people have died as a result of storms in the province over that last two-and-a-half weeks.

Tornado in the Bergville area in KZN

Cooperative Governance MEC, Sipho Hlomuka has been briefing reporters in Durban on response and relief efforts. 

Most parts of KZN has been lashed by heavy rains and winds since the weekend, while a tornado barrelled through some areas of the Midlands on Tuesday, flattening homes, knocking down power lines and uprooting trees. 

READFamilies of KZN storm victims speak, stories of survival emerge

Hlomuka says coordinated teams have been setup to react speedily as more bad weather is expected.

"There are 16 in totality since the 25th of October this year when the current bad weather spell began."

"As we speak, we are dealing with the whole province and all districts we have disaster management teams that are assessing the damage that has happened. They are on standby to ensure that whatever that might happen today [Thursday]," he said. 

More thunderstorms are predicted over KZN this afternoon. 

READ: KZN schools shut ahead of Thursday's severe thunderstorm

The South African Weather Service has put out a warning of severe storms from around noon until 11pm. 

Weather forecaster, Wisani Maluleke says the storm is moving eastward into the coastal areas with the possibility of hail and strong winds.

"People will need to be cautious especially those who are driving, they should make sure that they should not be driving through the bridges because there have been a lot of accidents where cars are swept away because of the over flowing rivers."

"Also, people should try to stay in a well sheltered areas because rough winds are coming in strongly as well as hail and lightning,"he sad

Several people remain unaccounted for following the severe storms that hit KZN since the weekend. 


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