Storm ravaged families get food and blankets

DESTROY ED:
Kiki Zulu shows
the damage
caused by the
storm to her
home on New
Year 's Day.
Pic: THULI
DLAMINI. 04/01/2010. © Sowetan.
DESTROY ED: Kiki Zulu shows the damage caused by the storm to her home on New Year 's Day. Pic: THULI DLAMINI. 04/01/2010. © Sowetan.

FAMILIES left homeless after a devastating storm in Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal, on New Year's Day have been provided with food parcels, blankets and tents.

The storm started at about 7pm on January 1.

Locals said there was a heavy downpour accompanied by strong winds, lightning and thunder. Two people were injured and the damage is estimated at about R20million.

A total of 106 houses were damaged and six homes were completely destroyed. The incident also affected public infrastructure including two schools and one crèche where roofs were blown away.

MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs Nomusa Dube yesterday visited those affected in the Uthungulu district municipality.

Dube promised that plans would be put in place to help the victims.

"We do not have a budget set aside for storms but should disasters happen we are willing to help those affected," Dube said.

The affected families include one household of nine orphaned siblings , the youngest of whom is two and the eldest is 26.

Yesterday they recalled the terror they experienced when the storm struck. "We nearly died. Of eight houses, two were destroyed, the ones that had all our food and valuables in it," said head of the home Nhlakanipho Biyela.

Another home destroyed was that of Kiki Zulu who lives with her disabled mother.

"We had to move her to another house after the roof fell inside the house," Zulu said.

The Department of Housing is also assessing all the damaged homes.

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