One dead, 15 hurt in Mpumalanga storm

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File image - A woman died and 15 people were hospitalised after a storm tore through Matsulu, east of Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

Nelspruit - A woman died and 15 people were hospitalised after a storm tore through Matsulu, east of Mbombela, Mpumalanga, on Thursday evening.

According to the provincial department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, three schools’ roofs were blown off and 25 homes were flattened, a Sapa correspondent reported.

“Our preliminary report on the storm damage says that 25

households were displaced and one person died when a roof fell on her,” departmental spokesman Simphiwe Kunene said on Friday.

“We also learnt that three schools were affected after their roofs were blown away. Fifteen people were sent to Rob Ferreira hospital for injuries incurred during the storm on Thursday night.”

Kunene said the name of the woman is being withheld until her next of kin were informed of her death.

The schools that lost roofs were at Tsandzanani, where seven classrooms were affected; Takheleni, where six classrooms were affected; and, Phumanga, where four classrooms were affected.

Kunene said the department’s disaster management team was assessing the situation to determine what help is needed.

“The department's team is on the scene assessing the situation. We have already provided tents for shelter to those whose houses were blown away or collapsed,” he said.

“For now, we are just trying by all means to get help for the community.”

He wished the injured a speedy recovery and empathised with the family of the dead woman.

The department has issued a warning about more heavy rains at the weekend.

“We expect more rain this coming weekend and we are asking communities across the province to be on alert and report to their municipalities if they suffer hardship, or if a disaster takes place,” said Kunene.


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