8 dead as storm damages buildings in S. Africa

JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Strong winds and thunderstorm in the last two days hit South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal, leaving eight people dead and many others homeless or without electricity, officials said Wednesday.

EThekwini municipality's head of communications unit Tozi Mthethwa said strong wind with a speed of 70 kms per hour wreaked havoc with some river banks busting. Some roads had to be closed and approximately 570 faults have been reported to electricity unit.

"Technicians have been working around the clock to restore power to affected residents. While power has been restored in most affected areas, the southern parts of Durban bore the brunt of the storm," Mthethwa said.

Acting KwaZulu-Natal Member of the Executive Council for Cooperative Governance (COGTA), Weziwe Thusi, said they are assisting those affected by rains.

Thusi said eight hospitals had been damaged but patients are safe. In addition, a total of 42 schools in KwaZulu-Natal were gravely affected by the storm, including nine high schools where there are upcoming matric examinations. The government is working to ensure that learners there are able to write exams as per the set schedule.

The rains have also resulted in casualties and damaged infrastructure in other provinces like Mpumalanga and Gauteng, it was reported.

[ Editor: meng ]
 

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