On October 23, 2023, KZN faced a devastating calamity as a relentless hailstorm wreaked havoc, leading to the tragic loss of five lives and leaving hundreds of people without homes.
Hailstorm Claims 5 Lives in KwaZulu-Natal
Over the weekend, KwaZulu-Natal was engulfed in a hailstorm of unprecedented ferocity. The disaster claimed the lives of five people, including a one-year-old child, according to reports from Zimoja.
Official statements from the provincial department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs confirmed the grim reality of the situation. The hailstorm not only took lives but also displaced over a hundred households, primarily in the Mtubatuba area.
Infrastructure Ravaged by the Hailstorm
The hailstorm’s fury extended beyond taking lives and causing homelessness. Siboniso Mngadi, a spokesperson for the provincial department, reported extensive damage to infrastructure. Roofs were torn from houses, power cables lay in disarray, roads and bridges sustained heavy damage, and vehicles were left in ruins.
The most heart-wrenching scenes were witnessed in Somkhele and KwaMyeki, where more than 70 houses succumbed to the hailstorm’s fury, rendering countless residents without shelter.
Mngadi stated, “Some houses suffered complete damage, leaving families homeless. Community halls and churches have opened their doors to the public, while others have sought alternative accommodation with relatives.”
Province Mobilizes Aid Amidst Widespread Destruction
While there were no reported fatalities or injuries in certain regions, including the Harry Gwala District, Greater Kokstad Municipality, and Umzimkhulu Municipality, the toll on property and infrastructure has been substantial.
The destructive path of the hailstorm also extended to the Umgungundlovu District, where 23 households in the Rosetta Informal settlement faced adversity.
At the time of this report, Provincial Disaster Management teams were already on the ground actively assisting affected communities, with a particular focus on Mtubatuba, which bore the brunt of the hailstorm’s impact.