It’s been a rough week for the good people of KwaZulu-Natal, with Tuesday’s tornado that struck eMpolweni killing two people and injuring 20.
Now a second tornado has struck, this time in Bergville, although there is still some debate around whether it can be labelled as such.
Videos posted to Facebook show the weather phenomenon suspended in the air, although it’s also reported that eyewitnesses saw the ‘tornado’ touch the ground several times.
That’s an important piece of information, but remains contested, reports TimesLIVE:
…Ayanda Ntsele, a forecaster at the SA Weather Service office in Durban, said a “funnel cloud” and not a tornado had been spotted in the Bergville area.
Explaining the difference between a tornado and a funnel cloud, she said: “We have not confirmed a tornado yet because it was not visible on our radar. It didn’t touch the ground, but remained in the air, so it was a funnel cloud.
“Saws issued a warning for severe storms, with damaging wind, hail and heavy falls. Around Bergville, most of the time, when there are storms there are fatalities and injuries from lightning. The area is very prone to thunderstorms.
“The video that is circulating just shows a funnel cloud,” she said.
Ntsele said the severe storm alert still stood.
Here’s a compilation of videos via News24, who labelled it a tornado:
Here’s the eyewitness account of Showan Marescia:
“I was on my way home from work and turned into my driveway. There were calm black clouds most of the day. However, as I drove into my garage I saw this funnel. The clouds are moving in circular motion. I have seen it touch down a few times,” he told News24…
Marescia said it was the first tornado he had seen in the area, which sees thunder showers during this time of year, but nothing as severe as this.
“There was lots of dust in the area.”
He said he was chasing the storm.
“I am definitely into storm chasing. When I saw it, there was a lot of excitement and fear for residents in the area. I am checking up on people and making sure they are safe.”
The province remains on high alert, and the South African Weather Service has issued a warning of severe thunderstorms across all coastal areas of the country.
Batten down the hatches, folks.
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