About 95 homes in a village in Mpumalanga were damaged after the area was hit twice by heavy thunderstorms in the past two weeks.
Residents of KwaMdladla village in Nkomazi are left picking up the pieces after a second thunderstorm left a trail of disaster on Saturday night.
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Nkomazi Municipality spokesperson Cyril Riphinga said Saturday’s thunderstorm had slightly diverted their attention from fighting the coronavirus to assist distraught and homeless villagers.
“We can confirm that the village has been hit by two thunderstorms in two weeks with the recent one of Saturday at around 22:00. About 95 houses were damaged and 16 of them need our urgent intervention.”
Riphinga said the 16 houses were left without roofs after they were blown away.
“Some of the affected residents are currently staying with relatives and neighbours. We tried moving them to a place of safety and they have refused. They told us they want to remain in their village,” he added.
The municipality has provided the affected families with food parcels and blankets.
Riphinga said they have roped in the provincial Department of Social Development and provincial disaster management team to assist the affected families.
“They don’t want to be moved to a place of safety. We have also given them blankets. The entire area of Nkomazi is the epicentre of the coronavirus in Mpumalanga. Their challenges are very serious even though they came when we were busy fighting the spread of the coronavirus.
“They have slightly shifted our focus, but we remain committed to fighting the virus. We are continuing screening people in Nkomazi, including families that have been affected by the thunderstorms,” said Riphinga.