A tornado has wreaked havoc in the city of New Hanover, north-east of Pietermaritzburg yesterday afternoon, resulting in an estimated two human casualties and 20 injuries.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a thunderstorm began to cause havoc in New Hanover, an area that was recently been hit with severe rain. A video of the tornado has since gone viral on social media.

News24 reports there have been two human casualties and 20 left injured in the wake of the storm.

“Provincial medics were already on the scene, having assisted with nine patients,” ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell told News24. “Two adults were unfortunately declared dead on the scene. ER24 set up a triage area and treated and transported a further nine patients for minor to moderate injuries to various hospitals in the area.”

“Provincial [emergency services] also transported a further two [injured], bringing the total injured on scene to 20. An adult woman who had suffered serious injuries as a result of losing control of her vehicle during the storm was treated with advanced life support interventions before being taken to Mediclinic Pietermaritzburg for further care.”

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) in KwaZulu-Natal has also activated councillors and volunteers to assist affected communities. In their statement, they confirm that “a tornado ripped through the area this afternoon injuring scores of people and damaging homes and public infrastructure”.

“Preliminary reports received by the department indicate that a number of people who sustained injuries in the incident are receiving medical attention from surrounding hospitals,” said CoGTA MEC Sipho Hlomuka in a statement. “A number of homes have collapsed, countless trees have been uprooted and the electricity supply in the area has been interrupted. Our teams are working hard to provide support to the affected communities.”

South African Weather Service (SAWS) forecaster Edward Engelbrecht has confirmed to Cape Town ETC that it was indeed a tornado that hit the area. However, they could not give confirmation on the amount of sustained injuries.

The weather service continues to tweet about severe thunderstorms in the area. They also warn people against a social media hoax claiming the tornado is moving to Durban.

Picture: Twitter / LesEgo

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