More than 1300 houses damaged by storms

NATURAL DISASTER: MEC Nomusa Dube leads a delegation of councillors and officials to inspect the damage caused by hail storms in Newcastle. Pic: MHLABA MEMELA. 29/11/2009. © Sowetan.
NATURAL DISASTER: MEC Nomusa Dube leads a delegation of councillors and officials to inspect the damage caused by hail storms in Newcastle. Pic: MHLABA MEMELA. 29/11/2009. © Sowetan.

AT least 1300 houses were affected by the recent storms in KwaZulu-Natal, according to MEC for local government Nomusa Dube.

AT least 1300 houses were affected by the recent storms in KwaZulu-Natal, according to MEC for local government Nomusa Dube.

Dube and Newcastle mayor Afzul Rehman visited Newcastle on Saturday to assess the damage and give relief to affected residents.

Affected areas include Madadeni, KwaMathukuza low-cost housing area and Madlangeni. The police station in Dannhauser was also damaged.

Residents said the storm lasted only 10 minutes but caused damage worth thousands of rands.

When Sowetan visited Newcastle on Saturday disaster management teams from the municipality and provincial government were assessing the extent of the damage. Residents were trying to repair their damaged houses.

Thembisile Kubheka of KwaMathukuza said she would survive though her house was damaged.

"My house was destroyed," Kubheka said. "Big hail stones the size of tennis balls came down, hitting hard on the roof, which caved in.

"I have never seen anything like it in my life and I thank God that no one was injured."

This was the second storm in less than two weeks in the province.

The recent storm in Bulwer caused damage estimated at R340million and claimed eight lives.

"While we will engage national government to provide relief to the affected families, we are appealing to businesses to also assist," Dube said.

Dube and Rehman also delivered relief stocks. The people whose houses were destroyed are being housed in tents and have been provided with blankets and food.

Rehman said: "We went to the affected areas soon after it happened because it is our duty to be there for our communities in times like these. We will continue to help in whatever way we can."

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