Two tornadoes strike South Africa

The video above shows a tornado approaching Duduza near Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday, October 2, 2011. Strong to severe thunderstorms hammered this region on October 2, 2011 – producing at least two damaging tornadoes. The two separate tornadoes hit the area on Sunday around Duduza and Ficksburg in the Free State.  Over a 150 people were reported injured as the severe weather moved through the region Sunday afternoon and overnight.

Around 2 p.m. local time, a tornado hit portions of Ficksburg, South Africa.  Reports coming out of the region are claiming that at least a 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.  At least 42 people were seriously injured from this tornado, and one death has been confirmed.

Later that night, another tornado hit parts of Duduza, South Africa around 9:30 pm local time. At least 110 people were injured as this tornado swept through Duduza.  As of now, it is unclear as to the extent of the damage.  Based on the images, it looks like the tornadoes that hit these areas were at least an EF-1, with wind speeds over 100 miles per hour.  Tornadoes are rated after assessing the damage in the area. Meteorologists take into account the structures of the buildings and the severity of the damage.  After that has been analyzed, meteorologists will rate the wind speeds of the tornado using the Enhanced Fujita scale (EF scale).  Example: It takes stronger winds to destroy a brick house versus a small wooden shed.   Tornadoes are not uncommon across South Africa during the springtime. Meteorologists in that area are expecting more storms to push through the area on Monday, October 3, 2011.

Bottom line:  Two tornadoes hit parts of South Africa on October 2, 2011.  At least 150 people were injured in Duduza and Ficksburg, South Africa.  At least one death, a nine year old boy, has been reported.  Over a 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. Tornadoes are not uncommon for this region during the spring.

October 3, 2011

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Matt Daniel

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