Three people struck dead by lightning in KZN, bringing the number to 8 in two weeks
Three people were killed in two separate incidents in northern KwaZulu-Natal after they were struck by lightning on Wednesday.
`This brings the number of fatalities, claimed by lightning strikes in the province over the past two weeks, to eight.
A six-month-old baby became an orphan when both her parents succumbed to their injuries after lightning struck their home in eManyiseni under the uMhlabuyalingana municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
In a statement on Thursday, the co-operative governance and traditional affairs department said inclement weather conditions “continue to wreak havoc” across rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal.
“In the last two weeks, the province’s disaster management teams have dealt with several incidents where lives were lost as a result of severe weather conditions.”
The department said in the first case, lightning struck the Mngomezulu household killing both parents of the six-month-old baby.
In a separate incident in Jozini ward 15, in Ndabeni area, a 70-year-old man was fatally injured in a lightning strike.
Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka said he was concerned about the increasing number of deaths due to lightning strikes.
In the past two weeks two people died in Nongoma, one in Ulundi and two in Mooi-Mpofana as a result of lightning strikes.
Hlomuka appealed to residents in the province to be cautious when faced with inclement weather.
Hlomuka, who has dispatched disaster management teams to the affected families, said, “We are appealing to all residents to take heed of the safety protocols that need to be applied wherever there are weather warnings.”
The department issued the following warning to residents:
- If outdoors seek shelter immediately but not under a tree, telephone lines and/or power lines;
- Avoid outdoor activities as hail, strong winds and lightning may result in injuries;
- Avoid low lying roads and bridges, as they are susceptible to flooding;
- If possible, stay indoors well clear of windows, shelter pets, cover vehicles and disconnect electrical appliances.