A mini tornado touched down between Inanda and Phoenix, north of Durban, on Tuesday afternoon. It snapped branches off trees, picking up loose debris and causing damage to homes.
In one of the videos taken of the weather phenomena, a woman who lives close to where the tornado touched down is heard praying with her daughter.
She is trying to keep her calm while filming debris being blown around by the tornado.
In a second video, a woman recording the aftermath of the tornado repeatedly asks for help, saying the “storm is coming back.”
The video shows corrugated iron sheets and other building materials scattered after a room was torn apart by the tornado which lasted only a few seconds.
The South African Weather Service forecast moderately scattered rainfall over the eThekwini region, with higher than usual wind speeds.
“Higher intensities are predicted over the central and northern coastal areas and western interior from 10 am on Tuesday, June 27 until 2 am on Wednesday, June 28,” warned the municipality.
The city warned residents of the potential for localised flooding in both formal and informal settlements, low-lying bridges and roads. Motorists were also warned about expected difficult driving conditions.
The eThekwini Municipality said in a statement that it had set up an emergency Joint Operations team. This is to coordinate the response to the heavy winds and rains that have impacted areas in Phoenix, Inanda, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu, and Folweni, north of Durban.
Emergency and rescue teams have already been dispatched to both areas to assess the extent of the damage and assist families, the city said.
The joint operations team will coordinate assistance, such as machinery to move debris. A search and rescue team is also being deployed to affected areas.
No injuries or fatalities have been reported at this stage.
Disaster and emergency teams will be in the area until all affected residents are safely accommodated. For any emergencies, residents may contact the City’s emergency line on 031 361 0000.
Although tornadoes in Durban are extremely rare, they can still occur under the right conditions