LOOK: Two dead, duo missing as Cape storm causes flooding, mudslides

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published May 7, 2021

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Cape Town – The storm that made landfall over the province this week killed two people, trapped children under a bridge, forced residents in the Cape Agulhas to evacuate their homes, and badly damaged several roads.

Up to 115mm of rainfall fell in some parts of the province over the past two days, leaving emergency services rushing to save lives and properties.

Tragedy struck Bonnievale in the Cape Winelands when two people died in flood waters when they became trapped in an overturned bakkie owing to the storm. The vehicle overturned into the Drie Nes River just before midnight on Wednesday.

Emergency humanitarian relief organisation Gift of the Givers has since arrived in Struisbaai in the Cape Agulhas where they have put out a call for donations following residents’ evacuation to community centres.

“Gift of the Givers teams had prepared an emergency response, loading our vehicles in Cape Town with blankets, mattresses, diapers, sanitary pads, baby porridge, hygiene packs, sanitizer, masks, and bulk food for mass cooking for those affected (numbers unknown as yet), providing meals three times a day for the next few days,” they said.

Donations can be made by visiting https://bit.ly/3vIVadK

The Cape Agulhas Municipality yesterday had to close the Swellendam Road as well as the Stormsvlei Roads due to flooding.

“We are continuously monitoring and assessing road conditions and will keep you informed should the situation change,” said municipality spokesperson Eben Phillips.

Struisbaai residents mopping up after the heavy rain. Picture: Leon Lestrade / African News Agency (ANA)

Phillips added that those wishing to donate food, can do so by dropping off non-perishable food items at Meals on Wheels at 67A Hoof Weg, Struisbaai between 8.30am and 2pm.

Spokesperson for provincial Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell, James-Brent Styan, said the winter storm “continues to move further inland and caused significant damage and flooding across the Cape Winelands”.

He said a number of children that were reported to be trapped under a bridge were found to be safe in a nearby house.

Rescue teams have been deployed to Struisbaai and surrounding areas flooded due to heavy rains. Picture: Leon Lestrade / African News Agency (ANA)

Styan added that yesterday in Robertson and Hermanus 41mm of rain had been measured, while Struisbaai received 115mm of rainfall, Swellendam 45mm, and Grabouw 58mm.

In the Cape Town Metro, between 6mm and 14mm had been measured, with the Tsitsikamma region having received 48mm by Thursday morning.

The City of Cape Town has implemented measures to mitigate mudslides, flooding, and debris landing up on roads.

Picture: Leon Lestrade / African News Agency (ANA)

Transport Mayco member Felicity Purchase, said: “We are concerned about the flooding of lower lying areas and mudslides. The fire destroyed the vegetation that prevents soil from washing down the mountain slopes during heavy rains.

’’Soil and loose rocks may also wash onto the M3 highway and Philip Kgosana Drive, so all road users will have to be very cautious when driving along these roads in coming months.”

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