8 dead as storm brings rain to drought-hit Cape Town

Firefighter dies in the Southern Cape

MTN has successfully restored connectivity to large parts of Knysna, in the Western Cape, following a devastating fire that has raged through the region, Knysna Plett Herald reports.

In Cape Town and surrounding areas, storm victims included four people who died in a fire caused by lightning, three who died in another fire and one who was killed when a home collapsed, disaster management officials said.

In this video, which was shown live on Facebook, the shells of several burnt-out houses can be seen, as well as live fires in other buildings.

At least eight people were killed as winds reached around 100 kilometres per hour and heavy rain and huge waves battered much of the Western Cape, including Cape Town, where the fatalities all occurred.

Knysna municipal spokesperson Fran Kirsten said residents had also been evacuated from Belvedere‚ Brenton-on-Sea and Karatara outside Knysna‚ among other areas.

NATURE’S SHOW Huge waves crashing over the break wall at Sea Point in Cape Town provided
NATURE’S SHOW Huge waves crashing over the break wall at Sea Point in Cape Town provided

According to the newspaper, people in the Whale Rock and Longships areas, near Robberg, were being evacuated.

Flames engulfed dozens of homes in Knysna and led to the closures of some stretches of a coastal highway. Knysna fire chief Clinton Manual said there was little hope of stopping the fire and officials would continue evacuating all those in its path.

In Cape Town, about 830 makeshift homes belonging to poor residents were flooded or had their roofs blown off, according to city authorities.

President Jacob Zuma had cancelled a trip to Cape Town to open the World News Media Congress because it was not possible to fly there.

"Eight people have died so far in storm-related incidents and thousands have been displaced", said James-Brent Styan, spokesman for the Western Cape local government ministry.

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