Sunday, January 04, 2009

Interesting story from News24

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Six dead in KZN storm

Jan 04 2009 11:05:02:453AM

At least six people have been killed during a storm that ravaged various parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the province's Social Development MEC Meshack Hadebe says.

Durban - At least six people were killed during a storm that ravaged various parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the province's Social Development MEC Meshack Hadebe said on Sunday morning.

"It is huge. At least 10 areas have been devastated and more than 2 000 families were affected," he told Sapa.

He confirmed that a family of four had died in Ndwedwe. Another person was killed in the Dalton area and another in Vryheid.

Premier Sbu Ndebele told Sapa the damage was extensive and that he, together with Hadebe, would be visiting the affected areas.

Hadebe said he was due to visit Camperdown and then Ndwedwe, while Ndebele was expected to visit the Copesville and Imbali area of Pietermaritzburg.

"Once we visit these areas to assess the damage, we will compile a report and then decide whether to declare any of them disaster areas," Hadebe.

Struck by lightning

Police spokesperson Muzi Mngomezulu said the family from the Malangeni area of Ndwedwe were inside their home when "the lightning entered".

"All four were struck by the lightning and died. Another person was also struck by lightning inside a house in KwaKhulusi."

Spokesperson for the local government department, Lennox Mabaso, said once verification had taken place, they would release the exact number of people killed in the storm.

News editor of the Witness newspaper Stephanie Saville said Saturday night's storm destroyed homes, blew away factory roofs and uprooted trees in Pietermaritzburg.

Witness printing plant

The newspaper's printing plant in Willowton had most of its roof torn off.

Managing director Piet le Roux said in a statement: "The press will be out of commission for some time, but we're just grateful that no one was injured."

Plans were being made for the Witness, Ilanga, Daily Sun, as well as numerous weekly titles, to be printed with the assistance of Media 24 in Johannesburg, and Africa Web Press and Independent Newspapers in Durban.

"The Witness hasn't missed the publication of an issue in 163 years of existence, but we would ask that our readers be patient, as deliveries may be later than usual through this period.

"We plan to be fully operational again as soon as possible," said Le Roux.

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