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50 injured, 550 homes damaged as tornado rips through Vaal Marina, Midvaal, South Africa

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A destructive tornado ripped through the Vaal Marina area in Midvaal, South Africa on December 11, 2017, uprooting trees and causing extensive infrastructural damage.

At least 300 families have reported damages to their homes, Midvaal Mayor Bongani Baloyi said. Some of the houses were destroyed as well as local infrastructure, Baloyi said.

According to paramedics, at least 50 people were injured, but there were no fatalities. 25 of them were transported to a hospital for further medical care.

"The municipality is assisting displaced residents with temporary shelter, and will begin assessing the extent of the damage and the estimated cost of rebuilding," Baloyi said in a statement late Monday, adding that the priority is to help those affected to start rebuilding their homes. "Two help centers have been set up in Mamello and the Vaal Marina Town Hall to assist those affected by the tornado."

Clean-up operations are underway Tuesday morning and the fire brigade and disaster management officials are still on the scene.

Update

December 13

Latest assessments concluded that the tornado uprooted luxury holiday homes, displaced more than 1 100 informal settlement dwellers, swept out boats out of the Vaal River, blown off roofs of homes and sent shacks flying during tits few minutes on the ground.

Mayor Baloyi said that more than 550 homes were damaged.

Featured image: Tornado in Vaal Marina, Midvaal, South Africa on December 11, 2017. Credit: ReenvalSA

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