Beachgoers scream and run for their lives as 'mini-tsunami' hits South African coast

Beaches have been shut down and tourists evacuated after a mini-tsunami hit South Africa’s coast.

Dramatic video footage shows beachgoers running for their lives and screaming in terror as waves rush towards them.

According to South African media reports, the cyclone weather system off Madagascar is responsible for the storm along North Beach in Durban.

The area was later shut off from the public as large waves battered the beachfront.

Screaming beachgoers make a run for it
Screaming beachgoers make a run for it
(Photo: Craig Dove / Facebook)

IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said on Sunday afternoon: “Waves are crashing over onto the Promenade. The beach has been closed to bathers and lifeguards on the promenade are monitoring the people.”

Local authorities have yet to determine the cost of the clean-up in the area, but it has been predicted by Times Live to run into the millions.

Beachfront infrastructure was thought to be badly damaged.

But locals were making the most of the upheaval, with one business owner heading down to the beach with his metal detector in the hope of stumbling across some gold.

Authorities are unsure how much damage has been done at this stage
Authorities are unsure how much damage has been done at this stage
(Photo: Craig Dove / Facebook)

Louis Fourie said: “The sand on the beach has been churned up. When it is like this you tend to find rings.

“But so far there is nothing today besides one cr*ppy ring that isn’t worth much.

“I make my living this way… this is my life. I tell you, in the last 20 years I have found so many rings.”

Restaurant owner Yaseen Amod said he is struggling after his store was damaged in the storm.

He said: “We were standing watching the waves and it just crashed over the barrier and we all turned to run but it was too late.

“We got swept in with the current and we got swept through the store to the back of the shop.”

In a statement, the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) department’s disaster management team said: “The costs… will be calculated as soon as assessments have been completed.

“Some sections of piers and promenade remain closed to the public due to unsafe conditions. We are grateful that the worst is over; however‚ we will continue to monitor the situation.

“We urge communities to heed the advice that at this point they must restrain themselves from visiting the beaches until it is safer to do so.”

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