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Tornadoes claim 11 lives in South Africa's 2nd most populous province

Houses destroyed by tornado in Tongaat, South Africa on June 5, 2024.   -  
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Cleared / AP

South Africa

A trail of destruction in south Africa's coastal province of Kwazul-Natal.

At least two tornadoes hit the country's second most populous province on Monday (Jun. 04).

Local authorities said Tuesday (Jun. 04) that eleven people were confirmed dead and over 55 injuries were reported.

Resident Otto Zondo recounts a sleepless night:

"When I woke up I couldn't open the door because of the corrugated Iron sheet blocking the door from the outside. When I pulled the sheet metal, I saw this strong whirlwind with loud thunder and heavy rain. As I was inside my house, it was raining over me."

The tornado in the western KwaZulu-Natal region occurred near the cities of Newcastle and Utrecht.

A second, more massive, took place around Tongaat and moved towards the coast at Westbrook and Ballito, leaving more extensive damage.

"I didn't witness the tornado but my children told me what had happened since they were home. They told me that they saw strong wind that was rotating. They covered themselves with blankets trying to shield themselves from the strong winds. They managed to get out of the house with the assistance of their older brother."

The provincial government says that at least 120 people have been displaced. Three temporary shelters have been established where the affected families are receiving humanitarian aid.

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