One Killed and two hospitalised as a reported tornado hits in Hillside road area. Image: TWITTER/NETCARE911
One Killed and two hospitalised as a reported tornado hits in Hillside road area. Image: TWITTER/NETCARE911

Emergency workers are busy relocating hundreds of people who were left homeless after a storm wreaked havoc throughout Gauteng on Monday.

The Gauteng Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said it was still receiving reports of fatal car accidents.

"In the wake of the devastation left by the heavy rains and hail storms across the province in the past few days‚ personnel of the WRDM (West Rand Disaster Management) Centre are busy assisting with the relocation and humanitarian aid to scores of people left destitute‚" the department said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Officials said entire households had been left without homes.

"In the community of Orient hills on the West Rand‚ emergency personnel are in the process of relocating as many as 500 people after their homes were destroyed‚ to the Magaliesberg community hall‚" the department said.

"These people are provided with food and blankets. Authorities are busy assessing the wind and hail damage experienced in a number of other communities and these victims are in the process of receiving the necessary relief."

At least one person died and several others were injured in what was described by eye witnesses as a "tornado" that ripped off the roofs of a primary school‚ a shopping mall and many houses on Johannesburg’s West Rand.

At the same time‚ the Yaldwyn power station in Jet Park near the OR Tambo Airport in Boksburg was on fire‚ causing massive power outages on the East Rand.

Twitter posts showed pictures of thick plumes of dark smoke coming from the power station amid the rain. It was not immediately clear what had sparked the blaze but it had plunged parts of Ekurhuleni into darkness‚ stretching from Kempton Park‚ through to Atlasville‚ Plantation and Witfield.

Another 150 homes were said to have been damaged in Putfontein and Etwatwa near Daveyton.

According to Netcare 911‚ one person was killed during the storm in Krugersdorp‚ while ER24 reported two injuries also in Krugersdorp. By Monday evening‚ paramedics were still attending to accident scenes and injuries caused by the storm.

Pictures circulated by emergency workers showed the damaged roof of the recently-built Cradlestone shopping near the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens on the West Rand.

Daniel Zambezi‚ who lives in the street across from Cradlestone Mall‚ said he got the fright of his life when the storm swept through the area.

He said he thought the world was coming to an end.

"I was just praying‚" said Zambezi‚ whose house’s roof and outer perimeter wall had partially collapsed.

ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said two people suffered minor to moderate injuries when the shopping mall’s roof collapsed.

“Fortunately‚ no serious or fatal injuries were found on the scene‚" he said.

Other photos showed debris of destroyed shacks scattered in an open veld. 

Several houses were completely destroyed as their walls collapsed. 

The mall was evacuated.

In Protea Glen‚ the roof of Protea Riff Primary School blew off. Johannesburg EMS spokesperson‚ Nana Radebe said no injuries were reported.

Others houses‚ including a block of flats in Honeydew‚ suffered the same fate‚ with pictures from the complex showing roof tiles blown off‚ collapsed carports and an overturned car.

Several vehicles were snapped emerged in floodwaters on the roads.

Weather SA forecaster Madimetja Thema said the reports of tornadoes were unconfirmed.

"Only once we have assessed all the information at hand will we be able to confirm that this was a tornado. For now we refer to it as a storm."

Nine injured in reported tornado in Delmas-Bapsfontein area

Nine people were injured in the Delmas and Bapsfontein area east of Johannesburg on Monday evening after what is claimed to have been a tornado damaged a business and a home‚ paramedics said.

“ER24 paramedics first responded to a business off the R50 in Delmas were a building had been damaged. Upon arrival‚ paramedics found that a small building had sustained serious damage‚ injuring the six people inside‚” said ER24 spokesman Russel Meiring.

He said paramedics had assessed the victims and found that all six had sustained injuries ranging from minor to moderate.

“The patients were treated for their injuries and were thereafter transported to various hospitals for further treatment.”

A short time later‚ paramedics were called to a residence in the Bapsfontein area to a residence that had apparently collapsed due to the reported tornado.

“Upon arrival‚ paramedics found that a man and his two children had sustained minor to serious injuries. The three patients were treated and provided with pain-relief medication before being transported to a nearby hospital for further treatment.

“Local authorities were on both scenes for further investigations‚” Meiring said.


Massive hailstones hit parts of Johannesburg on Monday afternoon. Image: Gauteng Weather‏ @tWeatherSA
Massive hailstones hit parts of Johannesburg on Monday afternoon. Image: Gauteng Weather‏ @tWeatherSA

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