A raging storm hit Tshwane last night. The ferocious storm, accompanied by intense winds, unleashed its fury in parts of Gauteng on Tuesday night. It caused a wave of destruction, power outages, and upheaval.
According to IOL, Tshwane bore the brunt of the storm, with emergency services facing a barrage of incidents. Reports flooded in of houses and damaged vehicles, plunging many residents into darkness as the night wore on.
Thabo Charles Mabaso, spokesperson for Tshwane Emergency Services, recounted the challenges faced by the emergency response teams during the height of the storm. Fortunately, no reports of fatalities have occurred amidst the chaos and destruction.
Mabaso detailed the havoc wreaked by the storm, explaining, “Last night, at around 10 pm, 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. Some houses and shacks had their roofs blown off in the northern parts of Tshwane.”
The storm’s impact extended to informal settlements in Pretoria East, where shack fires were reported, further stretching emergency services’ resources. Despite the magnitude of the challenges, Mabaso reassured the public that no injuries or deaths were reported in connection with the storm-related incidents.
As dawn broke on Wednesday, the inclement weather had subsided mainly, allowing residents and authorities to assess the damage’s extent.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) had previously warned of spring thunderstorms over Gauteng, the North West, the Free State, and the eastern Highveld. SAWS indicated that a weak cold front would approach the southwestern Cape on Tuesday, accompanied by showers and rain. The atmospheric conditions became conducive for isolated thunderstorms, mainly over central parts of the country, eventually spreading eastwards to reach Gauteng and the eastern Highveld in the evening.
Additionally, SAWS issued a Yellow Level 1 warning for waves between Cape Point and Struisbaai, cautioning about potential navigation difficulties at sea. This advisory came after a storm surge that generated powerful waves, resulting in significant coastal damage, vehicle incidents, beach erosion, injuries, and fatalities over the weekend. SAWS attributed this phenomenon to gale force winds, high swells, and an unusually high spring tide converging simultaneously along the country’s coastline, causing water levels to rise significantly.
While the storm has subsided, vigilance and safety precautions remain essential in the aftermath of this powerful weather event.
Picture: X / ActionSATshwane
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