Two dead in KZN lightning strike

31 January 2019 - 17:38 By SUTHENTIRA GOVENDER
Lightning claimed the lives of two men in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday
Lightning claimed the lives of two men in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

A freak thunderstorm in northern KwaZulu-Natal has claimed the lives of two people and left another seriously injured.

The provincial department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) said the storm struck on Wednesday in the Msinga area.

Thulani Buthelezi, 60, and Mathuli Mkhwanazi, 28, both died immediately after being struck during a severe thunderstorm.

Another woman, aged 32, was seriously injured and taken to hospital, said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

"Officials have been dispatched to help the families. Our work is cut out for us ... as we implement measures that mitigate the impact of climate change," said Dube-Ncube.

Cogta has started installing lightning conductors in areas prone to violent storms.

But Dube-Ncube added that the department would not be able to "cover every household in the province and requires households that are in some vulnerable areas to purchase these devices from their nearest hardware shops".

She said disaster management teams had been dispatched to Msinga to provide relief to affected families and assess the extent of the damage.

The KwaZulu-Natal deaths come after a 19-year-old rowing coach died after being struck by lightning in Germiston, Ekurhuleni, on Saturday. A 14-year-old boy he was coaching was also hit and is fighting for his life in hospital.