Pretoria – The Gauteng Provincial Government is working around the clock to ensure that life gets back to normal in tornado-hit Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg.
The strong wind that swept through the area on Tuesday afternoon blew off the roofs of about 200 households in the Winnie Mandela settlement, leaving an estimated 400 people displaced.
The storm destroyed formal and informal households in Hospital View and Daveyton, four ambulances at Tembisa Hospital. It also caused structural damages at Phumlani Mall and a filling station.
On Wednesday, Premier David Makhura, accompanied by Ekurhuleni Mayor Mondli Gungubele, visited the affected areas to determine the extent of damage and offer emergency interventions.
Premier Makhura said government was helping the affected families to rebuild their shacks as an emergency intervention. The city is providing salvage sheets as an interim measure to cover roofs and to prevent further damages to the affected properties.
“Our team will remain in the area to restore services such as electricity. We are hopeful that by the end of today, the power will be restored. It’s incredible that there were no fatalities in this tragedy. We, however, take the incident seriously. Our social services is offering counselling to the affected families,” said the Premier.
Mayor Gungubele said the final audit report of the damage will be completed by next week.
“Due to the magnitude of the damage, we can’t have the report ready in 24 hours. The final report will be done by next week.”
Victims of the thunderstorm can contact the Joint Operational Centre (JoC) on 011 458 0911.
The JoC will be functional for 24 hours a day until the situation has been normalised.
Various government teams are on the ground. This includes Eskom and the city’s Energy Department working on restoring power outage in area. The city’s Disaster and Emergency Services (DEMS) is continuing with assessments.
So far, three people have been taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Government has also deployed social workers and mobile clinics to provide counselling and other health services.