Tornado causes havoc in Ekurhuleni

Pretoria - A Joint Operational Centre (JoC) has been established by the City of Ekurhuleni to assist the victims of a tornado that swept through parts of Tembisa on Tuesday afternoon.

Victims of the thunderstorm may contact the JoC on 011 458 0911. The JoC will be functional 24 hours until the situation has been normalised.

The strong wind that swept through the East Rand township on Monday caused damage to Phumulani Mall, Tembisa Hospital, a petrol station and numerous households.

“Search and rescue operations at the mall have been completed and the city can confirm that there is no one trapped in the debris,” City of Ekurhuleni spokesperson Themba Gadebe said.

Three people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The thunderstorm also blew off the roofs of about 200 households in Winnie Mandela settlement, leaving an estimated 400 people displaced.

Gadebe said in Hospital View, 100 shacks and 20 houses were damaged.

“The city is providing salvage sheets as an interim measure to cover roofs and to prevent further damages to the affected properties.

“The nearest Rabasotho and Olifansfontein Community Halls are being provided by the city to accommodate victims. Food parcels and blankets will also be distributed to provide further relief to the affected,” said Gadebe.

The city will also deploy social workers and mobile clinics to provide counselling and other health services.

Various Ekurhuleni teams, which include Eskom and the City’s Energy Department, are also on the ground working on restoring power in the affected areas.