DURBAN: ROARING 65kmph winds wreaked havoc across Kwa- Zulu-Natal on Saturday, leaving some residents without a roof over their heads.
The winds from the south brought chaos to Durban's coastal areas and parts of the inland region.
“It is believed the fierce winds were caused by a low-pressure system over the ocean,” Durban-based weather forecaster Julius Mahlangu said.
The winds battered structures, pushed over trees and caused traffic congestion.
Numerous disasters were reported in the Durban CBD and surrounding areas with some residents taking to Twitter to show photographs of trees that had fallen on cars, damaged containers and road signs and the destruction of the large marquee at the Durban Christian Centre.
According to KZN Emergency Service’s Robert Mckenzie, five people were injured in two separate incidents
A number of minor incidents were reported, Mckenzie said.
Billy Cadmin, a former Florida resident, said he had witnessed hurricanes in the US, but had never experienced such intense weather as yesterday's.
Cadmin rents a house north of Durban and at the height of the storm saw the roof of an outbuilding ripped off and land in a neighbour’s yard.
“It was terrifying because there were corrugated sheets flying everywhere,” he said.
Mahlangu said the heavy winds would continue until midday today, however the windspeed would decrease.
“Sunday’s rain forecast is 80%. The cold weather can be expected until Tuesday with a maximum temperature of 20 degrees today and 21 degrees on Tuesday,” he said.
The eThekwini Munici- pality’s emergency control and disaster management unit warned residents of gale-force winds.
The municipality warned that waves of three to four metres along the Durban coastline could present a threat to bathers and surfers.
Residents in informal settlements should secure roof sheeting as heavy winds could cause damage, the municipa- lity warned.
Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said disaster centres were monitoring the situation.
Mabaso asked residents to report emergencies to the centres. Officials were still collecting data from the disaster centres on damage caused by the high winds, he said.
The emergency control and disaster management unit said it was monitoring the situation and urged residents to log emergencies by telephoning 031 361 0000.