Severe weather storms lash Southern Africa
By Fisani Ngwazi in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Fazilla Tembo in Lilongwe, Malawi.
The onset of the rainy season in Southern Africa has begun with severe storms pummelling the region and killing eight people in Durban, South Africa.
In addition, the storms destroyed infrastructure such as buildings, roads and vehicles.
Extreme weather events such as rain, wind and hail storms recorded are some of the indications of Climate Change.
Wind storms rocked north eastern Zimbabwe in Mutoko, with strong winds blowing off roof tops at the Nyadire Methodist Mission and surrounding areas.
In Malawi, nine people were injured this week and property damaged when heavy rains and hail storms hit Lilongwe.
The severe storms destroyed electrical poles leading to a power black out in the capital city.
Malawi Police Spokesperson, James Kadadzera told ACCCKF that heavy rains accompanied by the hail storms blew off roofs at Maula Prison resulting in injuries to people and the destruction of property.
South African, emergency services say five people were killed in storm related incidents in Durban and on the south coast.
Two people were killed after a wall collapsed at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi, south of the city.
An eThekwini municipal worker was killed after a wall collapsed on her at the Durban beachfront.
KZN Emergency Services’ Robert Mckenzie says paramedics are still ready to respond to any incidents that could arise.
“The earth is still wet and there’s still the possibility of landslides or buildings collapsing so we are still on high alert.
“However, with regards to the weather, it’s more of a secondary response that starts to take over now,” he says.
Malawian police spokesperson said: “The injured people have been referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital where they are receiving treatment.”
Some of the damaged property includes cars, buildings, fences and electrical poles.
Secretary for Department of Disaster and Management Affairs (DODMA), Clement Chinthu Phiri said government is very concerned with the injuries and damage to properties caused by natural disasters.
“Government will assess the cost of damage and will soon report to the nation and its development partners and see the way forward,” he said.
The Department of Meteorological Services has issued a statement on the 2017/18 Malawi rainfall season indicating that parts of the season would be marked by ‘episodes of extreme weather events like floods and dry spells associated with the neutral ENSO conditions.’
About the authors: Fisani Ngwazi and Fazilla Tembo are part of a group of journalists from Southern Africa who have received training on Climate Change, Gender and the Media supported by UN Women in South Africa.