Gale force winds cause chaos in Durban
At least five people were injured in Durban as gale force winds whipped through KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday afternoon and evening.
According to the KZN Emergency Medical Services‚ four people sustained injuries in the Durban CBD when a roof collapsed. Another person was also injured in the Warwick Triangle area‚ also from a collapsing roof.
Trees were uprooted across the city‚ several of them hitting parked cars. Tiles were ripped from roofs‚ windows smashed and there were even reports of stacked containers blowing over in the Durban port.
The winds also battered the KZN south and north coasts.
"Members of Reaction Unit South Africa have responded to 35 storm related emergencies in the past hour‚" the security company's owner Prem Balram said at about 6pm on Saturday.
"Several people have been injured and vehicles‚ homes and business premises have been extensively damaged. Reaction officers and paramedics are currently responding to multiple callouts in Mt Edgecombe‚ Phoenix‚ Verulam‚ Tongaat and surrounding areas‚" he added.
The eThekwini Municipality also warned residents to take care as the winds were expected to continue into the night and Sunday morning.
It said wind volumes were expected to reach up to 70km/h overnight into Sunday morning.
“This could result in damage to structures‚ cause trees to fall and result in traffic congestion where these impact on roadways. Wave heights are predicted to rise to between 3-4 metres and this could present a threat to bathers and surfers‚" the council said.
"All residents are advised to be cautious during this period and stay indoors for safety purposes‚" the statement continued.
The SA Weather Service also issued a warning.