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Deadly ‘supercell’ storm scatters ships in South Africa

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Moored ships were blown away as a “supercell thunderstorm” swept through South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal region, killing at least eight people.

The dead include a child swept away by rising waters and two patients killed when a wall collapsed at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, near Durban, the region’s main city.

People standing on a central reservation look at submerged vehicles on a flooded road during stormy weather in Durban, South Africa, 10 October 2017

KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country were hit by a “supercell thunderstorm”, the South African Weather Service said.

Such storms are characterised by a persistently rotating updraft like a tornado.

People wade through flood water in strong winds and rain next to submerged vehicles on a road during stormy weather in Durban, South Africa , 10 October 2017

“Satellite pictures show lightning over the sea and it seems to be moving off the coastline,” Weather Service spokesman Hannelee Doubell was quoted by South Africa’s TimesLive news site as saying.

The storm forced the closure of the Port of Durban, one of the busiest in Africa, on Tuesday.

Three vessels were grounded while others broke mooring lines and drifted in the channel, the port authority said in a statement.

Traffic jams caused by fallen trees during a storm in Durban, South Africa October 10, 2017

Emergency rescue worker Paul Herbst said a little girl had been washed away by floodwaters in Umlazi, a residential area south of Durban.

“A creche lying close to a nearby river flooded,” he said.

“The teacher from the creche managed to grab three of the children. Unfortunately a fourth child got swept down to the river in the floods.”

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Ghana: video of police assault on nursing mother goes viral

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Ghana’s social media space – Facebook and Twitter – has been buzzing with a call for the arrest of a police officer for assaulting a nursing mother.

A viral video shows the said officer in what starts like a tussle with the woman in a banking hall. Subsequently, he is seen hitting the woman with an umbrella, punching and slapping her on the face.

Reports indicated that the woman, a client of the savings and loans company, where the incident occured had arrived when the company had closed.

She ostensibly got in despite the close of business and refused to leave till she could withdraw a sum of 250 cedis ($50). Social media users are calling for the immediate arrest of the police officer. 

Local media portals also report that the police heirachy has confirmed that a probe had been opened into the alleged incident and that due process was going to be pursued.

The video continues to be widely shared on Facebook with some prominent media personalities joining the calls for justice for the woman.

 

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Trump extends Somali immigrants’ stay in US

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Somalis living in the United States under protected status have been given permission by the Trump administration to remain in the country for at least another 18 months, because of ongoing violence in the North African nation.

At least 500 Somalis in the United States with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a Thursday statement from the Department of Homeland Security. The status grants beneficiaries the ability to legally work while they are in the United States.

 

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