Several cold fronts to hit the Western Cape until July 12

Heavy rains and strong winds have made landfall across the Western Cape and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) has confirmed several cold fronts are expected to make landfall until Friday, July 12.

The MEC of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell said nearly 1,000 structures were destroyed by strong winds in Khayelitsha, Cape Town on Thursday, leaving close to 4,000 people without shelter during the current cold and wet conditions.

He said humanitarian aid including hot meals, blankets, and other support is being offered.

The South African Weather Service (Saws) also highlighted an additional fire danger for the Garden Route District which will be exacerbated by the strong winds in the coming days.

The weather service released several warnings for severe weather and this remains on track for the coming week, so much so, people on social media are referring to it as the Antarctic conveyor belt.

– A Level 4 for heavy rain and potential flooding over the western parts of the Western Cape on Sunday.

– A Level 8 warning for high winds of between 80 and 90km/h affecting the City of Cape Town, Drakenstein, Stellenbosch, and the western Overberg region.

– A level 4 warning for winds of between 50 and 70km/h for the Namakwa district, as well as the central and eastern parts of the Western Cape.

– A Level 6 warning for waves along the coastline between Cape Columbine and Cape Agulhas from Sunday, spreading to Plettenberg Bay by the afternoon.

– A Level 6 warning for disruptive snowfall over the mountains of the Western Cape, as well as the southern high ground of the Namakwa District on Sunday and Monday.

Eskom reported line faults affecting Tulbagh, Rawsonville, the Hex River Valley, as well as Belhar in the City of Cape Town. The faults have all been isolated and teams are working on restoring connectivity in all instances.

“The Department of Water and Sanitation said dam levels have not yet seen significant inflows from the rains during the night, but this will change later today as run-off starts filling up our dams. Wemmershoek Dam, managed by the City of Cape Town, is currently at 77.8%, and the controlled release of water into the Berg River will be managed carefully only once the dam levels approach 100%.

“It was mentioned at the meeting that many false social media posts were doing the rounds about the Wemmershoek Dam’s current level, causing anxiety among downstream residents.

“Please refrain from spreading inaccurate information, as it might cause unnecessary panic, and it distracts disaster management services from attending to the critical risks at hand especially humanitarian and disaster aid,” Bredell said.

The PDMC will continue to monitor the current weather situation as it develops, and daily operational meetings with all relevant stakeholders are scheduled for the coming week.

On social media, users are sharing pictures of icy roads as a result of a hail storm in the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek area.


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