More severe weather forecast for the Eastern and Western Cape

Henry

Heavy rains that fell in the Eastern and Western Cape at the weekend and are still continuing, lead to severe traffic disruptions and damage to infrastructure.

More than 1,000 residents were forced to flee seven different neighborhoods in Gqeberha due to torrential rain.

Sithembiso Soyaya, spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, says at least seven deaths were reported over the weekend and that disaster management teams remain on high alert.

“The South African National Defense Force has deployed a helicopter to help assess inaccessible areas and gain access. Gift of the Givers and Rescue South Africa are also involved to help search for missing residents and support rescue operations.”

“The Kariega Driving License Test Center (DLTC) will be closed today (Monday) and tomorrow due to flooding and damage to infrastructure,” says Soyaya.

Gary van Niekerk, executive mayor of the metro, says he is particularly concerned about the number of fatal incidents.

“Searches for missing residents related to the severe weather conditions are still ongoing. We really hope for the best, but the continuous rain makes the work even more difficult for our emergency teams. We got 50 mm of rain again on Sunday evening,” says Van Niekerk.

Photos of litter in the Buffels River washing up and ending up in residents’ yards have also been widely shared on social media.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality said in a statement on Monday morning that widespread damage to electricity infrastructure has occurred in KwaZakhele, New Brighton and surrounding areas and that these areas are experiencing power outages. According to the statement, an investigation has already been launched and repairs will be carried out as soon as possible.

The South African Weather Service (SAWD) has issued an orange level 6 warning for the Eastern Cape. Further heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast for today.

Western Cape

The Cape Agulhas area has received more than 135 mm of rain since Sunday evening and Monday morning. Flash floods occurred in several areas and damage was done to roads.

RNews reported on Sunday that the dangers posed by flooded rivers are enormous. Additionally, conditions around flooded areas can be unstable, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.

The SAWD has issued a level 4 warning for heavy rainfall this evening.

Dr. Dean O’Neill, manager of the Overstrand Municipality, urged residents to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Stay indoors.
  • Keep children safe: Make sure children are kept away from flooded rivers and other dangerous areas.
  • Avoid filming or photography: While it may be tempting to capture footage of the damage, it’s not worth risking your life for footage.
  • Stay informed.
  • Help vulnerable neighbors.

“By being careful and prioritizing safety we can mitigate the risks of the flooding and ensure the well-being of our communities.”

Road closures in the Western Cape:

R319 Struisbaai road is closed.

R316 Arniston Road is closed.

DR1223 Ou Plaas road closed to the R317 Swellendam road.

DR1219 Elim/Napier road closed due to road damage.

Motorists are advised to maintain a speed limit of 20 km/h where water is visible on the road.