National 26.7.2016 08:29 pm

Pics: Aftermath of a tornado

Picture: Neil McCartney

Picture: Neil McCartney

A major storm has left debris and damage in its wake in Joburg.

The Citizen‘s photographer Neil McCartney was in Tembisa not long after a tornado tore through the township and caused heavy damage to a shopping centre.

The number of people injured in the structural collapse caused by the tornado that swept through Tembisa has risen to 20.

ANA reported how month-end shoppers at the mall stood dazed as search and rescue teams pulled people out of the rubble of damaged shops.

Health department spokesman Steve Mabona said some 20 people who suffered injury at the mall had been brought to the hospital, where the tornado destroyed the fence and carports and damaged about 20 vehicles belonging to employees, as well as three ambulances.

It collapsed the roof of part of the hospital and uprooted trees, he said, but patients were spared injury.

“Fortunately, no patient or employee sustained any injury as a result thereof,” Mabona said.

“The hospital is currently attending to people who were injured at the destroyed Phumlani Mall in Tembisa, about 20 people have been transferred to the hospital.”

Mabona said ambulances from neighbouring areas had been dispatched to assist.

Spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni metro police department, Wilfred Kgasago, said the tornado struck Tembisa at around 4 pm.

“At around 4pm this afternoon, a tornado hit Tembisa and damaged roofs at Phumlani Mall, Tembisa Hospital and at Total garage on RTJ Mamani Road,” Kgasago said.

“According to information at out disposal, two people were reported injured at the mall and our search and rescue teams are currently rummaging through the rubble searching for survivors.”

Kgasago said no casualties had been reported so far.

He added: “We have not got more information about the extent of damage caused at the Total garage but we got a report that the roof was also ripped off there.”

“The whirlwind has gone in the direction of Bronkhorstspruit and we will be trying to establish how many people are injured.”

The SA Weather Service warned that the country would suffer from stormy winter weather this week, with heavy rains and snowfalls forecast in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

– African News Agency

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