'Tornado' damages 30 Free State homes
Thirty homes have been damaged in an apparent tornado in Kestell, in the Free State, the provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs department said on Sunday.
"There are 30 households affected in Tlholong township, where houses have been damaged and others ruined," spokeswoman Senne Bogatsu said in a statement.
She blamed the destruction on a tornado, and WeatherSA forecaster Michael Nethavani said the storm did appear to have been a tornado.
"According to the reports we are getting in, it was a tornado," he said.
"We are still in the dark as to where it happened," he said, but added that it would have hit somewhere in the eastern part of the province.
The extent of the damage, and the total number of people affected, still had to be established by a joint operations centre in the district, said Bogatsu.
"A community hall was immediately established as an evacuation centre, however only an elderly couple accepted the offer as other affected families were seemingly catered for by the community," she said.
Five people were taken to hospital. One of them was "seriously affected".
Six households in the Eeram area were also affected by the storm, but Bogatsu did not say how they were affected.
Four people were taken to hospital.
The joint operations centre was assessing structural damage, establishing basic needs such as food, blankets, counselling, and injuries. It was also removing debris.