The past weekend has been a disastrous one for the coastal areas. In the Eastern Cape, six people (including a mother with two children who tried to cross an overflowing river at Tsolo, 41 km from Mthatha) died. Two women died in the Western Cape when their car was swept away in an overflowing river at Jonkershoek area near Stellenbosch on Friday. The first body was found on Saturday and divers found the other woman’s body on Sunday after water levels had subsided.
Over 18,000 people in the Western Cape have been affected by the floods that were a result of heavy rainfall. some of the places affected include Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Delft, Strand and Somerset West.
According to Eye Wtness News, Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille says this weekend’s stormy weather is among the worst. “I would like to extend my deepest condolences to those people who have lost their loved ones. The City of Cape Town spent R3 million to provide social relief to 18,000 residents affected by the floods,” said de Lille.
The heavy rainfall left hundreds of Capetonians without shelter. Personal belongings were damaged and major roads in the the Cape Peninsula were closed.
The floods caused rockfalls, mudslides and landslides along mountainous areas. City Spokesperson, Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said, “The City of Cape Town has completed all repairs and maintenance work and minor outstanding work is still in progress. The engineers and disaster management teams will remain on high alert for the rest of the week.”
It is deeply saddening seeing people suffer and lose their lives due to natural disasters. People are encouraged to listen to radio, read and watch television for information and warnings so as to stay alert. Lack of proper housing is a huge problem but people should also try to avoid building in floodplains.
While people in the Western Cape are saddened, farmers in the Eastern Cape are celebrating as they have been experiencing droughts and that means business will do well. According to the SABC, Eastern Cape farmer, Dougie Stern said the rain was perfectly timed. “It is a wonderful feeling. You lie awake for most of the night and you hear the rain falling on the roof but you have no idea how much it is. The following morning when you go out and look at the rain gauge and see how much has fallen you are overjoyed and you know it’s going to bring massive relief not only to the sheep and veld, but the community as well – it is a wonderful feeling.” said Stern.
Sources: EWN, SABC,TIMESLIVE