A fierce hailstorm wreaked havoc in various parts of Gauteng on Monday, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The tempest pummelled property, from vehicles to buildings and homes, in areas like Soweto and Midrand, inflicting widespread damage.

By Lezeth Khoza

A powerful hail storm has caused significant damage in Gauteng, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Several cars and houses were severely damaged, and a hotel in Rosebank collapsed.

The hail storm’s sudden and intense fury took everyone by surprise. As the icy pellets rained down, homes and cars throughout Gauteng suffered the brunt of the storm’s force, leaving shattered windows and widespread destruction in neighbourhoods like Soweto and Midrand, catching residents and officials completely off guard.

Following a deluge of rain and hail the size of golf balls in certain areas, streets, sidewalks, rooftops, and vehicles were blanketed with mounds of hail. Some roofs and car park shelters caved in, including that of the Southern Sun Hotel in Rosebank. The emergency services said no serious injuries were reported.

The hotel sustained roof damage when the section above the restaurant buckled because of the rapid buildup of ice and water from the heavy rain.

“Emergency services were quickly on the scene to secure the area. There were no serious injuries reported, and all guests were evacuated and relocated to Southern Sun’s hotels nearby. The hotel has been closed for an evaluation and repair, and impacted reservations are being transferred to the group’s other hotels,” said the hotel in a statement.

Insurance companies have received a high volume of calls, and the Chief Client Relations Officer for OUTsurance Natasha Kawulesar confirmed to The Telegram that many areas in Gauteng have suffered significant damage, particularly to buildings and cars.

“The recent overnight hail storm has caused damage in many areas in Gauteng with largely buildings and vehicles being affected. OUTsurance clients can rest assured that hail damage is covered.

“While the volume of calls and claims is high, we are well-equipped to handle the influx of claims.  A large percentage, more than 50% currently, of claims are being registered by our clients directly on the OUTsurance app.

“This is a quick and seamless process for clients to self-service. Claims are being processed and we do not foresee any delays in validation as a result of the volumes.  We have our assessing teams from around the country ready to assist.  

“Our priority is ensuring our clients are assisted as soon as possible and to help alleviate their anxiety. Our service providers are also mobilised with emergency repairs being conducted as needed,” Kawulesar added.

The Johannesburg Emergency Management Services have continued to monitor the affected areas, even on Tuesday, in response to forecasts of further severe weather.

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