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Situation Report: Severe Weather Event: 6 – 8 June 2017

Storm Continues across Western Cape

  • BREAKING: Fires threaten Garden Route
  • NOTE: Schools across the Western Cape will be OPEN tomorrow – Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre continues to manage a range of crisis around the province as the storm continues to rage. All stakeholders remain in play with resources being deployed with utmost urgency where needed.

“We remain concerned about the extreme cold weather moving into the province as night falls and urge the public to remain indoors and dress warmly tonight. In addition, limit traveling across the province and contact the authorities as soon as possible on the emergency number 112,” said Anton Bredell, the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Province.

Garden Route suburbs have been evacuated as more than 26 fires broke out and many continue burning between George and Plettenberg Bay. The N2 in the area has been closed to traffic.

At 17h00, the suburbs of Belvedere and Brenton-on-Sea and the Western Knysna head had been evacuated.

Urgent steps were being taken to control the spread of the fire towards Plettenberg Bay. Western Cape Disaster Management has already co-ordinated the urgent deployment of several emergency vehicles from the Overberg and the City of Cape Town to assist.

In greater Cape Town, more than 2 000 people were displaced after 20 hours of heavy winds of up to 90km/h and rainfall figures ranging between 20mm-50mm in the peninsula.

More than 2 000 residents of Imizamo Yethu, on the South Peninsula, required alternative emergency accommodation, plus the residents of 200 homes in Makhaza, Khayelitsha. More than 80 people from an informal settlement in Villiersdorp were evacuated due to rising water levels.

In Grabouw informal settlements roofs were blown and road closures were reported in the area.  Six informal dwellings were affected in Botriver and 6 families were displaced and assisted by authorities.

More than 100 adults and children were evacuated from homes in Franschhoek, while emergency services were also assessing the situation in Touw’s River.

Across the City of Cape Town, 90 trees blew down, 72 roofs blew off and several shopping centres sustained damage – including Cavendish Square, Somerset Mall and the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

At the Beaufort West airstrip, the aircraft hanger’s doors got blown off which resulted in damage to the aircraft.

In the West Coast area: Approximately 13 roofs got blown off and 45 informal dwellings collapsed. Power failure in Citrusdal was reported. Various trees were uprooted due to strong winds and clean-up operations were done. A roof of crèche in Saldanha Bay was blown away.

Snow is expected on the mountains later this afternoon which will result in extremely cold temperatures.

Latest Warnings:

As the storm’s impact continues tomorrow, Thursday June 8, people have been warned:

  • All citizens along the coastal areas to continue to stay clear from beaches;
  • Businesses along the coastline note possible sea rising levels expected from 14h00;
  • All citizens to stay away from water masses (rivers and dams) due to fast flow run offs;
  • No access to hiking trails and mountain areas access to be prohibited

Schools and Education:

NOTE: Some damage to schools, but schools declared OPEN Thursday, June 8, 2017:

A running total of 24 schools had been damaged. The education department is already assessing the damage and drawing up plans to address the challenges anticipated in this regard.

The Western Cape Education Department has stressed that SCHOOLS ARE OPEN on Thursday, June 8, 2017.


By 17h00 today, eight deaths had been reported, including:

Four fatalities reported in Kraaifontein due to fire caused by lightning, one fatality was confirmed in Lavender Hill due to a building collapse and three people died in fire-related circumstances in Rheenendal, outside Knysna in the Eden district.

Road closures:

The N2 remains closed at several places between George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

The Huguenot Tunnel remains closed to heavy vehicles. Heavy vehicles are rerouted through the Du Toit’s Kloof pass.

Chapman’s peak has been closed due to mudslide risks and they are currently monitoring the roads in terms of clean-up operations due to debris caused by strong winds.