08 July 2024

Nearly 1,000 homes in Cape Town destroyed by storms

08 July 2024

Nearly 1,000 homes in informal settlements in Cape Town, South Africa, have been destroyed by gale-force winds, displacing around 4,000 people, authorities said.

South African weather forecasters said Cape Town and surrounding areas are expected to be hit by multiple cold fronts until at least Friday, bringing torrential rain, strong winds, flooding and possible mudslides.

City authorities also warned of storm surges and high waves along the coastline and asked people to stay away from the beachfront.

Cape Town’s disaster coordination team has been on high alert since last Thursday, when the first front arrived.

The worst-hit areas are expected to be the poor, informal settlements on the edge of South Africa’s second biggest city.

Thousands have been displaced in the township of Khayelitsha on the outskirts of Cape Town after strong winds destroyed homes and other structures.

The Gift of the Givers local aid organisation said it provided 10,000 meals and 3,000 blankets to displaced people in Khayelitsha over the weekend.

“The city is doing all it can to address the impacts as quickly as possible,” the City of Cape Town said.

Other areas have been flooded and the weather has caused power outages in more than 30 suburbs, the city said. It said it is monitoring dam levels to ensure they do not overflow and would consider a controlled release of some water with more heavy rain expected this week.

Cape Town, on the south-west tip of Africa, is often hit by cold fronts coming in from the Atlantic Ocean during its winter months in the middle of the year.

They are especially damaging for informal settlements.

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