Picture: Supplied

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal disaster management teams have been dispatched to the areas of Thokozani and Mpolweni in New Hanover, just outside Pietermaritzburg, where a tornado ripped through the area on Tuesday

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, said several homes and public infrastructure were damaged and scores of people were hurt.

Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka, said preliminary reports received by the department indicate that a number of people who sustained injuries in the incident are receiving medical attention from surrounding hospitals. 

"A number of homes have collapsed, countless trees have been uprooted and the electricity supply in the area has been interrupted. Our teams are working hard to provide support to the affected communities,” said Hlomuka.

He said there are fears of possible missing and possible deaths.

Hlomuka has urged residents to be vigilant as the risk of heavy rains and severe thunderstorms continue to pose a serious danger to the province.

All councillors and volunteers have been activated to provide a helping hand to affected communities.

Residents can contact the District Disaster Management Centres nearest to them. 

The Centres’ contact details are as follows: 

Ugu District - 039 682 2414

uMgungundlovu District - 033 343 1719

uThukela District - 086 010 4257

uMzinyathi District - 034 212 2222

Amajuba District - 034 329 7200

Zululand District  - 035 870 1128/1130

uMkhanyakude District - 080 011 7770/035 573 1647

King Cetshwayo District - 086 100 3473/035 787 2698

Ilembe District - 032 437 9379/1

Harry Gwala District - 039 834 0070

eThekwini Metro - 031 367 0000

The Mercury