Thousands displaced across Western Cape after first day of storms

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By the end of day one yesterday of the extreme weather conditions that are currently sweeping the Western Cape, thousands of residents had been displaced or lost their homes.

According to the Western Cape provincial government, more than 2 000 people were displaced after 20 hours of heavy winds and rain.

Most of these are from the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement on the South Peninsula, while residents of 200 homes in Makhaza, Khayelitsha and more than 80 people from an informal settlement in Villiersdorp were evacuated due to rising water levels.

More than 100 adults and children were evacuated from homes in Franschhoek.

“In Grabouw informal settlements roofs were blown and road closures were reported in the area.  Six informal dwellings were affected in Botriver and six families were displaced and assisted by authorities,” the government said.

Damage across properties

“Across the City of Cape Town, 90 trees blew down, 72 roofs blew off and several shopping centres sustained damage – including Cavendish Square, Somerset Mall and the Cape Town International Convention Centre,” the province said.

At the Beaufort West airstrip, the aircraft hanger’s doors got blown off which resulted in damage to the aircraft.

In the West Coast area, approximately 14 roofs got blown off including the roof of crèche in Saldanha Bay and 45 informal dwellings collapsed. Various trees were uprooted due to strong winds and clean-up operations were done.

Residents have been urged to stay clear of all beaches and water masses (rivers and dams) in the province. Access to hiking trails and mountain areas has been cut off in the meantime.

[Image – SA Weather Service]