Joburg hotel guests evacuated after violent hailstorm damages Southern Sun Rosebank
The powerful storm that hit parts of Johannesburg on Monday damaged cars and properties, including the Southern Sun Rosebank. Guests had to be evacuated and reservations transferred.
Candy Tothill, Southern Sun’s head of marketing, told Daily Maverick on Tuesday that the extent of the damage from Monday’s hailstorm could not be determined at this stage. She said they were also not certain when operations might resume.
“Southern Sun Rosebank experienced damage from a severe hailstorm on Monday evening when the roof above the hotel restaurant collapsed under the sudden build-up of ice and water from the storm,” the hotel said in a statement.
The hotel said emergency services were quickly on the scene to secure the area and no injuries were reported.
“The hotel is closed for an evaluation and repair, and impacted reservations are being transferred to the group’s nearby hotels.”
The massive storm rocked several areas around Johannesburg, including Midrand, Rosebank and Soweto, damaging roads, vehicles and properties.
Following the storm, guests were spotted outside the hotel entrance with their belongings, waiting to be transported by buses to the group’s nearby hotels.
“An extension of a low-pressure area was positioned over the central part of the country, with a high pressure to the east,” the SA Weather Service said, adding that this allowed for low-level moisture to transfer into the northeastern parts of the country, supporting the development of thunderstorms.
Storms began developing over the southeastern parts of North West and the northern Free State early on Monday afternoon, moving northeastwards towards Gauteng and southwestern Mpumalanga.
The weather service said its multimodel rainfall forecast indicated above-normal rainfall for the northeast of the country during November, December and January.
Meanwhile, the Mall of Africa in Midrand was also impacted by the storm, but management said it was safe for customers to visit the centre.
The Weather Service had issued a Yellow level 2 warning for Monday’s storm. DM