Surviving thunderstorms and tornados
The South African Weather Service released a warning on Tuesday of heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms around the KwaZulu-Natal province.
KwaZulu-Natal has been undergoing different weather conditions in the past week which resulted in damages and a few deaths in different parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
KZN experienced heavy rains and deadly thunderstorms, all week which resulted in a tornado forming and damaging a town called eMpolweni just outside Pietermaritzburg, in KZN. About 15 000 residences have been left without power in the area after the tornado disturbed a power supply unit.
These storms have claimed a number of lives although the number is yet to be confirmed. More warnings of thunderstorms have been issued as extreme weather conditions are to be expected on Thursday and Friday.
IzikoDUT contacted the South African weather services to get some safety tips on how to prevent survive thunderstorms and tornados in the future.
- Citizens are requested to stay indoors during a thunderstorm and if you are on the road, staying in the car is much safer.
- If you already indoors, move away from windows, don’t hold electrical appliances or a metal object, this includes not using the phone.
- Refrain from taking a bath or shower during the storm.
- If you are caught by a storm while out in the open, look for shelter in a building.
- In the event of seeing a tornado, move to the pre-designated building or else move into the centre of your house and get under a strong piece of furniture, such as a table.
- Get out of vehicles, caravans and mobile homes, as they can be moved, overturned and even destroyed by the strong winds and flying debris.
- Stay away from windows, as flying glass and debris cause the most deaths.
- Do not attempt to outrun a tornado in your vehicle. Leave it immediately and seek shelter.
- If caught outside in the open, lie flat in a ditch or depression but beware of flooding if there is heavy rain.
Source: South African Weather Service