From the news desk

Over 3000 homes flooded in informal settlements

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Over 3000 homes were flooded and damaged in informal settlements across the peninsula during the heavy rainfall over the past two days. The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Operations Centre logged 176 incidents with many reports of flooding, power outages and fallen trees.  The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Operations Centre logged 43 flooding-related incidents; 122 power outages across the metropole; nine incidents of trees that had blown over or fallen branches and two incidents where roofs were blown off in Masiphumelele and Burundi informal settlement. Disaster management officials had their hands full and mopping up operations are underway.

3 640 structures were damaged in Masiphumelele, Imizamo Yethu, Khayelitsha, Burundi, Nomzamo and Wallacedene. Fallen trees were reported in Parow, Edgemead, Crawford, Panorama, Durbanville and Brackenfell. Roads flooded across the city such as Wallacedene, Pelican Park, Ottery and Diep River.
Power outages occurred in Strand, Bonteheuwel, Observatory, Noordhoek, Joe Slovo Park, Athlone, Wynberg, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Sunnydale, Rondebosch, Philippi, Mitchells Plain, Hout Bay and Plumstead.

“This situation will change as repair teams make their way through the list of reported incidents. We ask that residents please bear with us, as assessments have to be completed for purposes of record, before assistance like flood kits can be provided. The City did make emergency shelter available to the affected communities; however, these offers have not been accepted. We have also informed SASSA around the need for humanitarian relief,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

Following the latest winter task team meeting on Wednesday, blockages in the stormwater system emerged as one of the biggest concerns. These blockages are the result of illegal dumping, but also persons storing items in the drains.

“Another concern raised is the quality of information provided when members of the public log service requests or alert us to emergencies. This has the potential to slow down response times or results in the incorrect agency responding. A simple example is, if the emergency is at City rental stock, we ask that callers indicate such, because that too will help determine the correct department to lead the response. Therefore, my appeal to the public when reporting any incidents during heavy weather episodes, but also just in general, is to give as much information as possible, that our response matches their need,” added Smith.

Residents should remember the following tips when making a call for help:
-Once you have dialled the number and are through to the operator, give them your contact number first so they can call you back if you lose connection.
-Always give your full name.
-Describe your location as accurately as you can. The operator might not necessarily know your neighbourhood as you do.
-Give details of your emergency. Let the operator guide the conversation — they have been trained to ask the most pertinent questions.
-For as long as you are able, stay on the line. When the call connects, operators will be able to identify helpful information from the call staying connected.

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