Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tornado Strikes Sasolburg, South Africa; 1 Dead, Over 100 Injured...

An apparent tornado struck Sasolburg, Free State in South Africa before dawn today (U.S. time).  According to media reports, an elderly woman was killed and over 105 people were injured.  Over 1,000 homes "have been affected" according to the Independent Online news service.

The following photo of damage was posted on twitter by "kgitsane".  If you look closely in the background, you can see apparent damage to the roofs of the homes, and obviously you can see remnants of the twisted metal roofs in the foreground:

Here are some another damage photos posted via twitter.  The original photographers were not identified:

As you can see, construction type varies greatly across the region, from no more than a metal shack to better constructed, brick veneer on wood frames.  With that in mind, its easy to see how more than 100 people could have been injured, and though a horrible loss for the family of the deceased person, its amazing that only 1 person was killed.

The vast range of construction types is even better illustrated by this video of the damage that has just emerged on YouTube:

Sasolburg (circled in red on the map below) is located about 45 miles to the South/Southwest of Johannesburg (circled in purple on the map below):

The same general area was also hit by a tornado in February of last year.  Tornadoes are not unheard of in this region, especially during the months of November through January. 

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Mark Anderson said...
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Mark Anderson said...

Hey,And this is why I will never live in South Africa. Snakes? Not a problem. Lions? Bring it on. But tornadoes? I get enough of those just going to school in Tornado Alley every year. If I EVER live in another country it will have significantly fewer rotating vortices of death than America. And South Africa does not fit that description.Thank you so much!!