Tuesday, 12 February 2013

180km/h wind with fierce rain torments Eastern Cape (10 February 2013)

COLLAPSED: Nomatshawe Ndleleni of Sandile Village in Chalumna standing in front of her uncle’s tavern yesterday. A strong wind accompanied by rain ripped through the house. Luckily no one was injured. Picture: STEPHANIE LLOYD

DRIVING winds and pouring rain caused widespread damage across parts of the Eastern Cape on Sunday night as a fierce storm lashed homes causing damage amounting to hundreds of thousands of rands.
Two areas that were hit badly included Chalumna and Christmas Rock, and some areas in Peddie recorded storm gusts of up to 180km/h.
Close to a hundred houses in the Chalumna area were badly damaged and one man was seriously injured after a park home collapsed on top of him as he was trying to escape.
The storm, which lasted less than an hour, left residents shocked. Patrons at a tavern belonging to businessman Phindile Ndleleni of Sandile village had a narrow escape when an almost 40m tall tree crashed down on it.

“This storm was fast and left damage that I estimate to be in region of R200000 in my place,” said Ndleleni.
Ndleleni’s niece, Nomatshawe Ndleleni, was inside at the time. She said she had heard a big bang before the ceiling collapsed on her.

“It was scary. I was in the storeroom and there were people drinking in the main hall. Luckily for us no one was injured. How we escaped I don’t know. The ceiling came crashing down.”
In New Rest village, an employee of the provincial department of public works was seriously injured and his friend, Loyiso Mahanjana had minor injuries when their park homes were blown away by the fierce winds.

Mahanjana was asleep. He said he saw his house “up in the air” before he lost consciousness.
“I was gone. After that I don’t know how the house landed on the ground. It was a freak storm,” he said.
Mahanjana and his friend were rescued by the owner of a security company and rushed to Frere Hospital. “If it was not for him, my friend would have died here,” he said.

Houses were damaged in Dowu, Zikhova and Ngqinisa villages.

At Christmas Rock, Roland Harris said this was the fiercest storm they’d had in the area.

- Daily Dispatch

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