House disintegrates as children seek shelter

first_imgAs the schoolchildren saw the tornado approaching, they ran to the house to seek cover, only to have the house start breaking into pieces, with chunks of it being blown away as they desperately sought shelter. “The house basically disintegrated around them,” homeowner Mrs Lindiwe Dladla told the Ladysmith Gazette. She was not in the house at the time.Ladysmith businessman Mark Pitout was travelling towards Bergville when he was caught in the freak storm. “It was a complete white-out, with light hail and rain falling. I could see nothing. It lasted for about 15 minutes. The bakkie I was in was loaded with heavy tyres and so was the trailer, but you could actually ‘feel’ the bakkie being moved along the ground as it was being buffeted by the wind,” he explained. “It was the most frightening storm I have ever experienced.”Bergville municipal manager Mr Sibande expressed his shock and sadness at the devastation. He added that the municipality was doing everything it could to help those affected.They are currently assessing the damage and handing out tents, blankets and food parcels to affected households.It is not yet clear whether the area will be declared a disaster area, but several homes have been totally destroyed. The tornado that ripped through the Emmaus Hospital grounds on Monday afternoon a few kilometres from Bergville and Winterton, almost totally destroying the hospital as it ripped the roof off the buildings, also sped its path of destruction across a large area.While 132 patients in the hospital were evacuated last night – with most being sent to Estcourt, Grey’s and Ladysmith Provincial Hospital – emergency services had to deal with 18 people, including a young baby, who were injured.The hospital has been completely shut down and will not be accepting any patients.In one of the houses that was destroyed when the tornado hit, several schoolchildren were hurt. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img

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