Eight killed, thousands displaced in Sth Africa storm

A man takes a picture of sea spray as storms hit Cape Town. Photo: Reuters
A man takes a picture of sea spray as storms hit Cape Town. Photo: Reuters
The storm is expected to dump more than 50mm of rain in some areas and to trigger waves of up to 12 metres. Photo: Reuters
The storm is expected to dump more than 50mm of rain in some areas and to trigger waves of up to 12 metres. Photo: Reuters
The army, police and other emergency services were on hand to evacuate anyone stranded by the storm and to provide emergency shelter and food. Photo: Reuters
The army, police and other emergency services were on hand to evacuate anyone stranded by the storm and to provide emergency shelter and food. Photo: Reuters

Eight people have been killed and thousands forced from their homes as South Africa's tourist base Cape Town and surrounding areas were hit by the worst winter storm in 30 years, officials said on Wednesday (local time).

The storm is expected to dump more than 50mm of rain in some areas and to trigger waves of up to 12 metres, the South African Weather Service said in warnings.

Millions of people in shanty towns, who have previously had to cope with the region's worst drought in a century, have been hardest hit, as floods and heavy rain washed away homes built of planks and zinc sheets.

"Eight people have died so far in storm-related incidents and thousands have been displaced," said James-Brent Styan, spokesman for the Western Cape local government ministry.

He said in one incident a family of four died in a fire caused by lightning. Another died in a building collapse.

Local media reported that strong winds had fanned fires in the countryside east of Cape Town, forcing evacuations including in the popular resort town of Knysna, renowned for its oysters and rugged coastal scenery.

Over two dozen fires were reported in the area, which are home to dense forests, providing plenty of material for the spread of wild fires.

The army, police and other emergency services were on hand to evacuate anyone stranded by the storm and to provide emergency shelter and food. 

Add a Comment

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter