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Girl, 13, dies after lightning strike in heavy KZN thunderstorm

Lightning strike. File Picture: Mark Harley

Lightning strike. File Picture: Mark Harley

Published Nov 6, 2021

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DURBAN – A lightning strike in KwaZulu-Natal has claimed the life of a 13-year-old girl.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said in a statement that 13-year-old Akhona Sibiya died of her injuries in the Nquthu Local Municipality, northern KZN, after she was struck by lightning on Friday.

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Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka sent disaster management teams to provide support to the Sibiya family.

Hlomuka warned residents across the province to exercise caution as inclement weather was expected to continue.

Cogta said the latest weather warning from the South African Weather Service (SAWS) indicated that thunderstorms were expected to continue in the northern parts of the province, namely the districts of uMkhanyakude, Zululand and uMzinyathi.

Hlomuka called on residents to exercise extreme caution as the province is expected to experience inclement weather conditions during the course of the season.

Around 2pm on Saturday, Storm Report SA said, “quite a storm currently over KZN into a favourable environment”.

Before midday, the SAWS said severe thunderstorms were expected yet again over eastern provinces on Saturday including parts of Mpumalanga, Limpopo and northern KZN.

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The SAWS issued a yellow level 2 warning for severe thunderstorms over the central and eastern parts of Mpumalanga, the southern parts of Limpopo and the northern parts of KZN on Saturday.

According to the service’s impact based warning, it expects strong to damaging winds, hail (large hail) and heavy downpours leading to localised flooding.

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