Three schoolchildren from Mandlamasha Primary in Dannhauser, under Amajuba District, tragically fell victim to a lightning strike on their way home from school on Monday.
The KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) reported that one child died instantly, while the other two were rushed to the hospital. This unfortunate incident brings the number of lightning strike fatalities in the area to four over the past month.
Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi expressed her deepest condolences to the family of the deceased pupil and extended wishes for a speedy recovery to the two children currently hospitalised.
The loss of such a young life in such a tragic manner is truly heartbreaking. Sithole-Moloi assured that the department’s disaster team will reach out to the affected families, providing the necessary support during this difficult time.
Severe thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds and lightning have caused widespread destruction in the areas of Dannhauser, Estcourt, Vryheid, and Ulundi.
Numerous households have suffered significant damage as roofs were torn apart by the powerful winds, resulting in the loss of valuable possessions. The impact has also extended to public infrastructure, with power lines being destroyed, leading to power outages in certain areas.
Initial reports from the department indicate that the most affected areas include Wembezi in Estcourt, Nhlazatshe in Ulundi, and Ozwathini and Mhlongo farm under Abaqulusi Local Municipality. These areas have experienced extensive damage caused by thunderstorms, strong winds, and hailstorms.
MEC Sithole-Moloi has instructed the disaster management teams to collaborate with the affected municipalities in order to provide assistance to affected residents. The department remains committed to supporting and helping the affected communities recover from the aftermath of these natural disasters.
In times like these, it is crucial for communities to come together and support one another. The KZN community stands united in offering their sympathies and support to the affected families, hoping for a swift recovery for those injured and strength for those grieving the loss of a young life.