Disaster management teams in KwaZulu-Natal have been placed on high alert following reports of severe thunderstorms, MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Sipho Hlomuka said on Sunday.

He said teams were placed on alert after the South African Weather Service (SAWS) indicated a strong possibility of severe thunderstorms that could lead to localised flooding in large parts of the province.

“This warning comes at a time when the province recently lost four lives in a lightning strike in Mkhuze in northern KZN,” said the MEC.

Hlomuka urged residents across the province to be cautious as bad weather still poses “a serious danger to communities”.

“Our disaster management teams are on standby in areas that are prone to flooding and they will be monitoring the situation. We have full confidence in our teams’ ability to provide the necessary support should the need arise,” he said.

He further urged residents to be cautious, “especially motorists and pedestrians”.

“Our province has lost many lives to lightning strikes and flooding and we are calling on pedestrians to ensure that they do not cross walkways or bridges that are prone to flooding. Those with livestock are urged to first seek shelter at the slightest indication of lightning,” said Hlomuka.

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