REPORT: 07 JUNE 2017 @ 08:00
The storm predicted by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) hit the Western Cape at approximately 23h00 on Tuesday night.
The good news is that across the province to date, we have had no reports of fatalities or serious injuries, although some evacuations have been made and a handful of injured citizens taken to hospital by Emergency Services. The injuries was caused by roof collapses.
The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre (WCDMC) was activated at the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre at Tygerberg Hospital at 22h00 last night, in advance of the storm, to maximize the protection of the public’s health and welfare and protect critical infrastructure.
Heavy wind and rain hit the west coast of the province and progressed eastwards during the course of last night – resulting in some damage across the province. This took the form of fallen trees, buildings losing their roofs, electricity outages and road-closures.
The N2 between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna has been closed due to fires that have broken out in the Eden District due to pre-storm conditions with warm and strong wind blowing in the region. Concerns remain around these fires as there is very little rain predicted for this region.
The ocean swell remains a cause for concern, with huge swells expected this afternoon with a peak touching on 13 metres in some areas. This may cause damage to low-lying areas close to the ocean. The public is cautioned to stay away from Western Cape beaches throughout the day.
Communities staying along the coastline are recommended to continue taking precautions, especially during the afternoon and evening. In addition, the public is cautioned to avoid dams, rivers and desist from outdoors activities including hiking throughout the day.
More than a million learners remain at home across the province. At present schools will be open tomorrow, Thursday 8 June.
It was also reported that the railway overhead lines between Bellville and Wellington were compromised, affecting the operations of Metrorail – as well as further technical difficulties in the vicinity of Somerset West. All train services have been affected with delays of up to 60 minutes on the routes that remain open, including Central. More details on the routes that remain open will be available from Metrorail.
Average wind speeds between 55 and 70 km/h and gusts of between 80 and 90km/h were recorded throughout the evening.
Some of the more notable rainfall figures include, 45mm recorded in Grabouw.
Tugs were put on standby by Transnet Port Authority to provide assistance in towing and holding boats in position in and out of port should the need arise.
Humanitarian and relief agencies remain on standby.
The City of Cape Town is carrying out assessments during the course of the morning (7 June 2017). A more comprehensive report, which will include the City of Cape Town and inputs from the Heads of the District Disaster Management Centres, will be compiled later today.
The storm has not yet reached its peak and travellers across the province today are advised to do so using extreme caution.
The emergency number remains 112.
There will be a media briefing at the WCDMC centre at 13h00. This is on the premises of Tygerberg Hospital.
James-Brent Styan 084 583 1670 (Spokesman for Western Cape Local Government MEC Anton Bredell)