Durban — Empangeni is recovering from a sudden storm that hit the region Monday night, and as a result, one person died and many others were hospitalised while several homes have been damaged.
The severe storm caused widespread damage to different properties and shopping centres, and the falling of trees which resulted in road closures.
Municipal buildings such as the Civic Centre in Empangeni, the fire station, and many private businesses and hospitals were damaged.
Speaking on ENCA, City of uMhlathuze mayor Xolani Ngwezi said he was worried about the family that has already lost a member, and other people who were injured at this point.
“There are also 10 homes that are affected; I am very worried about the area as a whole, but the disaster team is on the ground,” said Ngwezi.
The owner of Rollo Roofing in Empangeni, Justin Rollo, said fixing the damage was going to take a lot of time.
“The situation is quite bad and some buildings that were damaged are going to require over a R1 million to fix. The Sanlam Center’s roof and Game store has collapsed, and we still have a lot of work cut out for us.
“Our priority now is to try and help our customers and get the business up and running since we lost almost everything in the warehouse,” said Rollo.
He said the situation on Monday was so bad that it was even hard to see the road.
“There was also light and heavy hail that came through on the outskirts of Empangeni.
“Right now we need to get the business up and running to protect people from losing jobs and prevent a decline in the economy because there are going to be people sitting without work for weeks,” said Rollo.
In a Facebook post, the City announced that was experiencing a high volume of call-outs on electrical problems after the storm, and customers are advised to expect delays due to backlogs of calls.
Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service issued a yellow level 2 warning of severe thunderstorms across areas in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.
It was reported that scattered showers and thundershowers were expected across KZN and they would become severe over north-eastern parts on Monday afternoon.
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