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KZN lightning strike kills girl, 6, has officials concerned over inclement weather deaths

Lightning. Picture by Pexels

Lightning. Picture by Pexels

Published Feb 25, 2021

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Durban - A six-year-old girl was killed after she was struck by lightning in the Maphumulo Local Municipality in the Ilembe district.

The child’s death has left Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka concerned about the increasing death toll as a result of inclement weather.

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The girl, Enama Naledi Ntuli, was killed on Tuesday afternoon in the yard of her grandmother Ntombizodwa Madiba's home.

Madiba said Enama loved church and reading. She was in Grade 2 at Nsongansonga Primary School.

Hlomuka said: “The news we have received of yet another life lost as a result of inclement weather is devastating. We appeal to all communities to be vigilant as our province continues to experience rough weather conditions which pose a significant risk to human life.”

Ward councillor Hleziphi Khoza said her ward was prone to thunderstorms which were accompanied by lightning but Tuesday’s death shocked them.

“What happened to the girl really scared us,” said Khoza.

“There is one house, Gcwentsa, that was always affected by lightning. Lightning would also strike and kill a cow or a person.”

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Eleven people have died since storms swept through parts of the province on January 24 this year.

Two people, Smakade Magwaza, 62, and his grandson, Lwandile Magwaza, 8, were still missing after being swept off the uThukela Bridge between Kranskop and Nkandla on February 12.

Search and rescue teams were deployed to help with the search in the crocodile-infested uThukela River.

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A number of people have been killed by lightning in KZN last year.

In two weeks, eight people were killed: two in Nongoma, two in Mooi-Mpofana, two in uMhlabuyalingana, one in uLundi and one in Jozini.

One victim was a 6-month-old baby.

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On Tuesday, Hlomuka visited the Ilembe district to hand over a fully equipped fire and rescue vehicle to the rural municipality of Ndwedwe so that it could better manage such incidents and assist other municipalities.

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