Raging storm, strong winds leave trail of destruction, power cuts and shaken residents in Tshwane

Tshwane Emergency Services said several fires were experienced on Tuesday night during the raging wind storms. File Picture: Phill Magakoe

Tshwane Emergency Services said several fires were experienced on Tuesday night during the raging wind storms. File Picture: Phill Magakoe

Published Sep 20, 2023


Heavy wind storms were experienced in parts of Gauteng on Tuesday night, with reports of destroyed houses and vehicles in some parts, while plunging residents into darkness.

Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson, Thabo Charles Mabaso said the emergency services had their hands full on Tuesday night, but no fatalities have been recorded.

“Last night, at around 10pm various parts of Tshwane experienced heavy wind storms which uprooted a number of trees in areas like Valhalla, and multiple power outages that were also followed by a number of fire incidents reported in various parts of the city,” he said.

“Some houses and shacks had their roofs blown off in the northern parts of Tshwane.”

Members of the Tshwane Emergency Services had their hands full on Tuesday night. File Picture: Phill Magakoe

Mabaso said shack fires were recorded in some informal settlements in Pretoria east.

“Emergency services had their hands full. Fortunately, there were no injuries or any deaths reported regarding the incidents that were reported to us. Disaster management has been activated to conduct a full assessment of the damage in various parts where the incidents were reported,” he said.

On Wednesday morning, the inclement weather had subsided.

— Gauteng Weather (@tWeatherSA) September 19, 2023

IOL reported on Monday that spring thunderstorms were predicted over Gauteng, the North West, the Free State, and the eastern Highveld, according to the South African Weather Service (Saws).

On Monday, Saws said a weak cold front will approach the south-western Cape on Tuesday, accompanied by showers and rain.

"The atmosphere becomes conducive for isolated thunderstorms from the afternoon over central parts of the country, spreading eastwards, reaching Gauteng and the eastern Highveld in the evening," the forecaster said.

A Yellow Level 1 warning for waves has also been issued between Cape Point and Struisbaai.

Saws said this could lead to difficulty in navigation at sea.

The forecaster explained that a storm surge was behind the freak waves that affected more than 50 percent of the country's coast at the weekend.

"This resulted in damage to buildings, swept-away vehicles, beach erosion, multiple injuries, and two deaths. Gale force winds, high swells, and a higher than normal spring tide occurred at exactly the same time, causing a significant increase in water levels along the coast," Saws said.

It added that the maximum observed wave heights were observed over the south coast.