Johannesburg – Five people have been confirmed dead following extreme weather that brought high winds and floods to the KwaZulu-Natal midlands areas of uMsinga and uMvoti on New Year’s Eve, SABC radio news reports.
Four remained missing and 22 were being treated in hospital.
Provincial premier, Zweli Mkhize, on a visit to families left destitute, said he was worried that bodies were being found that did not match the identities of people reported missing.
“That means we have a challenge in estimating the numbers of people that have died,” he said on air.
A freak thunderstorm accompanied by strong winds tore through the area on Saturday.
One of the five dead was struck by lightning.
There was also damage to homes and infrastructure.
National Freedom Party spokesperson Nhlanhla Khubisa said it hoped that the Umzinyathi district, working in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal government, would declare the uMsinga and uMvoti disaster areas.
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New Year’s eve KZN storm kills 5, 4 missing