Last Thursday, a hail storm caused extensive damage within the Pretoria area amounting to R100 million ($10 million). Largely striking the poorest areas of the city and numerous power sources, the storm also saw hail stones the size of peoples’ hands. South Africa’s Highveld is renowned for its late afternoon thunder storms during summer; this hail storm was particularly intense, affecting over 44,800 households.
SAPA reports: “The City of Tshwane declared a state of disaster following a severe thunderstorm… causing widespread damage to property and infrastructure,” spokesperson Selby Bokaba said. Roofs, windows, solar geysers, cars, and household items were damaged.
The city had provided plastic sheeting for roofs and windows, blankets, mattresses, and food parcels to about 1600 households in the two areas.
Mop-up operations were still under way with technicians working around the clock to restore power.
“The City of Tshwane is delighted to announce that power will be restored before midnight today [Wednesday] to all the areas that have been without power following last Thursday’s violent hailstorm,” Bokaba said.
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Image of hail in Johannesburg via flickr user kool_skatkat.
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