Ekurhuleni medics on standby

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Johannesburg - Ekurhuleni emergency services were on standby on Friday following Thursday's heavy thunderstorms, said the municipality's disaster management centre.

“Already the response teams (attended) to some areas, including Benoni and Sunward Park, which were affected by heavy rain and hail yesterday (Thursday),” said the centre's spokesman Anthony Kesten.

He said locals should practice extra caution during this period.

“Residents are requested to ensure that they stay indoors during hailstorms to prevent injury from hail... They are also requested to secure loose tiles, corrugated roofs, and other roof-covering materials, due to the possibility of hail and possible strong, damaging winds,” said Kesten.

“Cars should be parked under secure roof structures to prevent any damage should it hail (and) motorists should protect themselves by pulling off to the side of the road, away from trees or other areas where debris could fall, and stay under cover until the storm has passed.”

The centre also called for pets to be kept safe and sheltered.

On Thursday, the East Rand area was hard hit by thunderstorms, with several incidents reported.

A man was killed when he was struck by lightning as he stood under a tree in Nigel.

A house in Brentwood Park, Benoni, also caught fire after it was struck by lightning and a man was injured by hailstones while walking on Great-North Road in Benoni.

He was hospitalised and is in a stable condition.

The SA Weather Services forecast more rain for most of the province on Friday.

“There is a 60 percent chance of rain and we expect around five millimetres of rainfall,” said forecaster Bransdy Bulo. - Sapa


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