At least five people have died in South Africa as a devastating storm wrought havoc in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province. High winds and heavy rains hit the area on Tuesday (10 October), causing deadly flash flooding.

The victims include a 12-year-old boy who drowned as he was swept away by a stream. A police officer was killed when a container fell on top of his car. Two patients at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi died when a wall collapsed, local media reported.

Authorities urged residents in Durban to remain indoors. "Due to the inclement weather conditions currently being experienced in Durban, all residents are urged to stay indoors until the storm passes.

"Residents are also cautioned against driving or walking anywhere for the duration of the storm," the eThekwini Municipality said in a statement, according to News 24.

The extreme weather conditions are expected to improve on 11 October.

Meanwhile, eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, is scheduled to visit some areas affected by the storm, news site IOL reported.

"We have a total of 42 schools damaged in Tuesday's storm. This is in addition to more than 350 schools that were damaged by freak winds in the last two months," Kwazi Mthethwa, spokesperson for the Department of Education said in a statement.

"Access roads have also been affected and so learners and educators are finding it difficult to go to school," he said.

Social media users have shared pictures and videos of the devastating effects of the storm.

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Durban Harbour Storm Container Ship Blockage
A container ship blocks the harbour mouth in Durban, South Africa, October 10, 2017 in this still image obtained from a social media video. BLUE SECURITY via REUTERS