Hundreds displaced, 8 hurt in Limpopo storms

News24 Correspondent

Polokwane - Hundreds of families were displaced and eight people injured after heavy thunderstorms caused havoc in Limpopo's eastern districts at the weekend.

The province's disaster management services were on Monday still counting the damage and assisting families after storms swept roofs off buildings and caused damage to schools and community halls in villages in the Mopani and Vhembe districts on Saturday.

One family was hospitalised but saved from death after a wardrobe sheltered them from falling bricks when a wall collapsed.

Members of the family from Dzingidzingi near Giyani, in Mopani, said they had just run into the house to escape a heavy thunderstorm when part of a wall collapsed. In the process, a wardrobe came crashing down, protecting them from the debris.

A family in Tshaulu east of Thohoyandou in Vhembe lost several cattle during the thunderstorm.

Todani High School in Tshilamba had its roof torn off. According to reports compiled by local disaster management centres, nearly 800 families were affected by storm.

Provincial disaster management spokesperson Motupa Selomo said some families were evacuated from their houses and were being given tents to shelter in while other had sought refuge from neighbours and in community halls.

Selomo said an operation was underway to assist those left without blankets and food.

"We still don't have the exact number of people who are displaced. Our officials are busy collecting data, but we are working with other departments like social development to hand over food and other aid," he said.

This was the second big storm to cause damage in the province in as many weeks.

A week ago, 200 families were affected after storms hit Mopani, Capricorn and Sekhukhune.

The provincial education department said it had sent inspectors to evaluate the damage at schools.