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Hailstorm Causes A Shopping Mall Roof To Collapse In Johannesburg, South Africa

Damage to the Trade Route Mall in Lenasia, South of Johannesburg. (Maria Pillay, News24)
Damage to the Trade Route Mall in Lenasia, South of Johannesburg. (Maria Pillay, News24)
Three people were treated for shock after parts of the roof collapsed at the Trade Route Mall in Lenasia, South of Johannesburg, on Saturday afternoon during a huge downpour in the area, paramedics said. 
 
Speaking to News24 from the scene, Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services (EMS) spokesperson Nana Radebe said the patients were taken to a nearby hospital for further care. 
 
“The Fruit and Veg shop outside the shopping centre suffered the most damage with large sections of the roof collapsing onto the store’s interior,” Radebe said. 
 
“The shopping centre itself suffered minor damage.”
 
Trade Route Mall owner Yaseen Valli told News24 that a ceiling panel in the court area collapsed due to flooding of the flooding of the gutters resulted from blockages caused by the hail. 
 
“The top floor is under water, and clean-up operations are underway by the onsite staff,” Valli said on Saturday evening. 
 
He assured customers that the centre’s operations will return to normal on Sunday. 
 
News24 employee Maria Pillay who was on the scene said calm returned to the shopping centre after the storm subsided. 
 
“Most people are just frustrated – this type of thing is not supposed to happen,” Pillay explained. 
 
“It started raining into the movie theatre and people are now just trying to get their money back.”
 
Most shops in the shopping centre reopened after the rain stopped, Pillay said. 
 
“Some of the cinemas that are not damaged even started showing their movies again.”
 
“I think everything is mostly under control.”
 
This is not the first time South African shopping centres suffered structural collapse during heavy rains. 
 
On December 7, two construction workers injured in Newlands East, Durban, after a shopping centre roof collapsed. 
 
The men were believed to be working on an expansion of the centre at the time of the incident.
Courtesy of news24.com

Severe Hail Storm Hits Kanye, Botswana

When the news team approached her homestead, Ms Thonika Tsuaneng’s mind was racing in a thousand different directions, trying to figure out where she would get the next penny to reconstruct her six-roomed ‘castle’ house destroyed by a hail storm Tuesday afternoon.
 
The loss had clearly taken a toll on her body and soul. She was so numb with shock that food, clothes and some household valuables were still soaked in the rain water streaming inside the four walls which until Tuesday, were her house. When BOPA visited house yesterday, three wet school certificates were also visible on top of a table, left to dry up after being retrieved from the water.
 
The storm had blown away P30 000 worth of rafters, metal sheets and threw them onto the road behind the yard, leaving her close knit family in so  dire a state of helplessness as perhaps that of free range chicks without a mother in  so wicked a world where only the strong survive.
 
Her two daughters, with two newborn babies, she later shared with a tinge of despair, were yesterday evacuated to their grandmother’s place to shelter them for the night. Though also helpless, they had come back, one with a child held against her bosom, to see what had remained of the house they once called home.
 
Apparently, situations have always conspired to prevent her from becoming a proud mother. Proud to stay in a house built for her with love by her children, which is every right thinking child’s wish. She said soon after completion they realised that the roofing was defective and was thus removed and consequently redone at a cost. This time, if her children none with a decent employment, according to her, do get the money to piece it together again, it would be for the third time. Fearful but patient in tribulations, she said the situation would pass.
 
However, Ms Tsuaneng was most of all thankful that her family escaped unharmed. By the time of going to press, help had only come in the form of a big tent, which was not big enough to shelter her property and family though.
 
In some areas around Kanye, especially Dilolwe and Mahikana wards, residents went for two nights without power supply after the storm.
 
Meanwhile, area Member of Parliament, Mr Patrick Ralotsia was set to visit the affected families Thursday morning.
Courtesy of dailynews.gov.bw

Buildings damaged, thousands remain without power after severe storms hit Victoria, Australia

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Alert
The State Emergency Service (SES) said they had received hundreds of calls for assistance after storms brewed on yesterday afternoon.
 
A severe thunderstorm warning for damaging winds, heavy rain and large hailstones remains current for much of the state.
 
More than 30,000 homes properties are still without power, down from about 100,000 around the state last night.
 
Power was also out in parts of suburban Melbourne but the impact was far less significant.
 
The weather bureau’s Dean Stewart said Melbourne received 20 millimetres of rain within 15 minutes, causing flash flooding in many suburbs.
 
“The highest wind gust in the state was up at Kilmore Gap to the north of Melbourne — 117 kilometre per hour — but a lot of towns reported gusts over 100kph, [followed by] Wangaratta with 113kph, Bendigo 111kph, Mangalore 107kph, Laverton 98kph,” he said.
A house missing roof at Merbein, in Victoria's north-west, after a severe storm passed through.
PHOTO: The roof was torn off one house at Merbein. (Supplied: Leonie Dam)
A fierce storm battered Mildura and parts of Victoria’s north-west as a cool change brought strong winds and a dramatic temperature drop to Melbourne.
 
More than 100 calls for assistance were made to the State Emergency Service (SES) in Mildura alone, stretching the town’s resources and leading for a request for back-up from CFA volunteers.
 
Wind gusts of 89 kilometres per hour were also recorded in Mildura and a number of buildings were damaged in the area, including at Merbein and Irymple.
 
One house in Merbein lost its roof, while grape vines were blown over at Curlwaa.
 
Large hail fell in eastern suburbs, including Mitcham and Narre Warren. A number of suburbs also experienced flash flooding.
 
Trams in the city were interrupted by flash flooding and lanes were closed on CityLink, while some metropolitan and regional train services were also delayed.
A woman holds large hail stones in her hand.
PHOTO: A number of suburbs across Melbourne experienced large hail. (Twitter: Jenna Blyth)
Shops at Highpoint, one of Melbourne’s busiest shopping centres, were flooded.
 
Swan Hill reached 41 degrees Celsius, while Mildura hit 39 degrees as the north-west of the state sweltered through hot and humid conditions.
 
Melbourne sweltered through a hot night, falling to just 24 degrees at 12:38am, and reached a maximum of 37 degrees just before 3:30pm.
 
But when the cool change hit the CBD about an hour later, the temperature fell 12 degrees in 10 minutes.
 
Very dangerous winds could hit Western Port, the Mornington Peninsula and parts of Port Phillip, with possible winds of over 125 kilometres per hour.
 
Residents in Werribee, in Melbourne’s west, said the suburb had experienced very strong wind gusts, while buildings have been damaged in Tarneit.
 
There are reports of a number of trees down across the state.
A number of shops are flooded at Highpoint Shopping Centre, in Melbourne's west.
PHOTO: A number of shops were flooded at Highpoint shopping centre. (ABC News: Jessica Longbottom)
Courtesy of abc.net.au