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Second cold front unleashes trail of destruction in Western Cape

One person seriously injured, efforts to rescue trapped residents

The R43 between Wolseley and Ceres was shut by a mudslide. Emergency services responded to pleas for help from trapped residents on Thursday.
The R43 between Wolseley and Ceres was shut by a mudslide. Emergency services responded to pleas for help from trapped residents on Thursday.
Image: Witzenberg Municipality

Rescuers were preparing to airlift a seriously injured person as a second cold front on Thursday worsened a trail of destruction across parts of the Western Cape.

Torrential rain flooded homes and roads, uprooting trees and leaving some areas without electricity.

The SA Weather Service issued an orange level 6 warning for “disruptive rain leading to major disruption of traffic flow across the City of Cape Town and Cape Winelands

“Thankfully there have not been any fatalities. We got news early this morning of a serious injury. We are making arrangements now to move that patient by air as soon as the weather permits,” provincial disaster management head Colin Deiner told eNCA.

Several thousand people across the province have been displaced or affected by flooding, with some having to be rescued. At least 1,000 people were displaced in the town of Rawsonville.

“Limit your travelling, stay indoors, its going to be cold,” said Deiner. 

Cape Winelands district municipality mayor Gesie van Deventer has urged people to stay home over the long weekend as mopping up efforts continue.
Cape Winelands district municipality mayor Gesie van Deventer has urged people to stay home over the long weekend as mopping up efforts continue.
Image: Cape Winelands district municipality

Cape Winelands district municipality mayor Gesie van Deventer echoed the call for people to stay home over the long weekend.

“The severity of the weather over the last few days has had a significant impact on our daily lives. Citizens across the district have been affected. The stormy weather is expected to persist through the weekend and into next week. 

“I appeal to all citizens to stay home this long weekend and to travel only if necessary. It is crucial that we keep our roads clear for emergency personnel and other essential services as they navigate to areas that pose a threat to our safety. If there is no alternative and you must travel, please adhere to traffic and road instructions.” 

The Overberg district municipality said the Franschhoek Pass (R45) was closed due to rockfalls. Stellenbosch municipality reported bridges from Pniel to Lanquedoc “are either gone, damaged or inaccessible. We are working with the farmers in the area for residents to be able to access their roads. Please avoid the area if possible.” 

Cape Town disaster risk management centre spokesperson Charlotte Powell said: "Flood alleviation measures are continuing, especially in newly blocked stormwater systems.”

Incidents being attended to in Cape Town:

  • Mudslides in the Oudeskip area in Hangberg, Hout Bay
  • The Eersterivier/Kuilsriver burst its banks, causing flooding of some properties in Zandvlei, Macassar
  • Informal settlements have been affected in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, Old Crossroads and Schaapkraal areas.
  • The Mosselbank River burst its banks, affecting residents in Philadelphia and Klipheuwel
  • The Keyser River was a concern after bursting its banks again. The city‘s roads and infrastructure management services was diverting water from surrounding properties
  • Numerous uprooted trees have been reported. Recreation and parks is attending to these incidents
  • Numerous roadways have been flooded across the city.

TimesLIVE

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