Western Cape braces for mother of all storms

A massive storm lashed Cape Town, South Africa's second-largest city, and parts of the surrounding Western Cape province on Wednesday, claiming eight lives, downing power lines and forcing schools and some roads to close.

South African media said Wednesday that two people have been injured in the storm, and there are reports of some damaged homes and uprooted trees. Many injuries due to flying debris were also reported by the BBC.

"Very high and rough sea conditions with possible storm surges are also very likely along the entire coast of the Northern and Western Cape, which will experience the brunt of the damaging waves".

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In a statement, the City said that residents were still being asked to continue using less than 100 litres per person per day and that the cold front now sweeping across the city was not a green light "out of our drought situation". The region has been suffering a severe drought.

Western Cape Disaster Management urged residents to remain indoors as the storm - the worst in the province in 30 years - was expected to increase in severity.

"Use suitable containers to capture rainwater‚ which is flawless for flushing toilets as an example".

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The SA Weather Service's Julius Mahlangu says at the most, KZN can expect temperatures in the low to mid 20s and stronger than usual winds for the rest of the week.

"Residents living in informal settlements will probably be the hardest hit", Charlotte Powell, Cape Town city's disaster management spokeswoman said.

"The public is cautioned to stay away from Western Cape beaches throughout the day", Styan said.

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Schools which were closed on Wednesday will reopen on Thursday, he said.

  • Jermaine Castillo