From the news desk

Western Cape braces for continued severe weather this week

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By Ragheema Mclean

Heavy rains and strong winds have battered parts of the Western Cape. The weekend saw severe thunderstorms, damaging winds, and heavy rainfall across the province.

These adverse weather conditions are predicted to persist throughout the week with the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) confirming that several cold fronts are expected to continue hitting the region until Friday, 12 July.

Speaking on VOC Breakfast on Monday, spokesperson for Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell, Wouter Kriel, shared updates on the situation.

“We’ve received reports throughout the night of widespread damage, mostly localized, with many roads being flooded and trees uprooted throughout the city, as well as in Drakenstein and the Stellenbosch municipality,” Kriel said.

The department reported that nearly 1,000 structures were destroyed by strong winds in Khayelitsha on Thursday, leaving close to 4,000 people without shelter amid the current cold and wet conditions.

Fortunately, no deaths have been reported.

“There are 4,000 people in Ward 99, Khayelitsha, left without shelter after the storm winds destroyed their homes on Thursday,” Kriel added.

Humanitarian aid, including hot meals, blankets, and other support, is being provided to those affected.

“We’ve been working very closely with Gift of the Givers. They have been distributing blankets and hot meals in various areas,” he noted.

“From the provincial disaster management, we are coordinating with all line departments and receiving updates on where assistance is needed. These operations will continue throughout the week as the weather conditions are set to persist,” Kriel added.

Addressing the broader issue of climate change, Kriel stated, “We know that climate change is happening, which means our province will probably get hotter and drier. However, we also know that extreme weather events such as storms, droughts, and floods will be more intense, and this must be considered in all long-term planning.”

He noted that the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning is leading efforts to streamline and plan with climate change in mind, ensuring the province is better prepared for future extreme weather events.

VOC News

Photo: Pexels

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