The identities of the two people killed after a tornado ripped through the Empolweni area under the Umshwathi Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal midlands have been released.

They are 40-year-old Thokozani Ndlovu and 44-year-old Nonhlanhla Buthelezi, both from Empolweni area, who died trying to escape the severe storm.

Nonhlanhla, daughter Noluthando Buthelezi, says her mother died near their home while she was trying to escape from her mud house to a neighbour’s home.

Unfortunately, a tree fell on her and she died instantly.

The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala accompanied by provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Finance MECs Sipho Hlomuka and Ravi Pillay are visiting the area to assess the extent of the damages.