Gale force winds have caused devastation in several parts of the Eastern Cape, leaving two people dead and several properties and roads severely damaged.
This is after the SA Weather Service issued a level 5 warning for damaging winds until late into Sunday night.
Buffalo City Metro Municipality (BCM) spokesperson, Samkelo Ngwenya, said a woman died in Potsdam village after a wall and roof collapsed while she was sleeping, and a young man was crushed to death when a tree collapsed on a shack in the Stoney Drift area.
“Out of the 50 wards in the metro, 28 wards have been affected by the strong gale force winds and persistent rains which started in the early hours of Sunday.
“The most severe impact is related to houses destroyed or roofs blown away, electricity outages and blocked roads due to fallen trees.
“BCM multi-stakeholder teams will be busy throughout the day conducting damage assessments, visiting affected households for needs assessments, and are developing a situational report,” he said.
Ngwenya said Mahlangu Village informal settlement, Tambo Park informal settlement, Nojoko informal settlement, Fort Jackson informal settlement, Mpolweni Extension and Ndevana Location were among places where residents have been displaced.
“First assessment reports indicate that the most affected ward is ward 24, which includes Potsdam and Mdantsane, Thambo Park, Fort Jackson Industrial, Msintsi, Nkomeni, Mbekweni and Kingston, and citywide electricity outages resulted in households in some suburbs of East London being affected,” he said.
The Amatola Water Board also reported that water supply has been affected in eQonce, Bisho and surrounding villages.
Meanwhile the Makana Local Municipality also reported roofs being blown away, broken trees and damaged cables.
“We have several areas that are without power due to the strong winds which have caused intensive damage to the infrastructure. In one of our substations the roof was blown away.
“In a number of streets trees have fallen across electrical cables, but the electricity department is currently clearing the trees.
“Power is also off in the CBD because of a fault on one of our main lines, the electricity department is busy with repairs and fault finding at the moment,” said the municipality.
Eastern Cape Transport spokesperson Unathi Binqose urged motorists to be extra cautious on the province’s roads.
“These terrible weather conditions left a trail of destruction overnight, with mudslides and fallen trees blockading some smaller inner roads in places such as Humansdorp and some parts of Mandela Metro and the BCM. Mudslides have been reported on the R102 between Plaatjies Drift and Leeubos, direction Humansdorp,” he said.