Four children shocked to death in Cape’s stormy weather

Henry

A total of eight people, including four children, were shocked to death in Cape Town this past long weekend while heavy rain and flooding wreaked havoc in the Western Cape.

The metro’s disaster coordination team confirmed that four of the deaths were at the Covid-19 informal settlement in Driftsands, while four children were shocked to death in the Klipfontein area.

At the same time, emergency services scrambled to rescue six children who were trapped in three different houses in the Strand.

The residents of a retirement home on Somerset West also had to be rushed to safety, while another 170 people found shelter in a hall in Sir Lowry’s Pass.

A group of people were also trapped at the Kogelbaai resort after roads were closed on both sides of Gordonsbaai and Rooiels. The provincial disaster risk management center assisted the metro in these rescue efforts.

The metro’s disaster management teams were deployed at numerous locations in Cape Town this past weekend after heavy rain caused extensive damage. Between Sunday evening and Monday morning, parts of Cape Town already recorded 294.6 mm of rain.

Charlotte Powell, spokeswoman for the metro’s disaster management centre, says the flooding particularly affected communities with informal housing, but also established parts of Durbanville, the Strand, Gordons Bay and Hout Bay.

A preliminary assessment of the state of affairs shows that as many as 1,000 structures in, among others, Khayelitsha, Philippi and several other informal communities have been destroyed.

“Sandbags are already being distributed in the communities to assist them, while a number of humanitarian relief agencies are helping with meals, blankets and other necessities such as baby products,” says Powell.

The Lourens and Eerste Rivers were flooded, as was the Spaanschemat River on the M42 opposite the Tokai Forest.

Several roads in the province are flooded and are currently inaccessible to motorists.

Meanwhile, weather-related power outages have been reported in various parts of Cape Town. Eskom has already temporarily exempted parts of the Western Cape from load shedding so that technicians can safely restore power supply.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde will give further feedback later today on the disaster management efforts following the devastating storms.

Several other provincial government departments will also provide updates on the effects the storms have had on various services.