Western Cape to be affected by more severe weather

Western Cape to be affected by more severe weather

As a recent intense cold front moves away from most parts of South Africa, the Western Cape is bracing for yet another wave of harsh weather. The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has issued warnings, forecasting another cold front that is set to hit the region soon. This new system arrives just as other parts of the country begin to experience a reprieve from the severe conditions of the past few days.

Adverse weather conditions persist in Western Cape

Despite the easing weather in many areas, the Western Cape continues to face significant challenges. The province has been dealing with wet, cold, and windy conditions, with light snow affecting various regions. This series of cold fronts has led to widespread and disruptive snowfall over southern and western high ground, causing severe disruptions.

Damaging winds have swept across the interior and coastal areas, resulting in high seas along the coast. These extreme weather conditions have caused significant damage in the Western Cape, including loss of shelter in informal settlements, fallen trees, power outages, and road closures due to snow and flooding. The SAWS has upgraded the weather warning for the Western Cape from level 6 to 8 in response to the worsening conditions.

Impact on communities and infrastructure

The Western Cape has been particularly hard-hit, with reports indicating that 7000 structures in informal settlements across Cape Town have been affected. Over 70 neighbourhoods experienced flooding, leading to significant distress among residents. The Liesbeek, Lotus, and Eerste rivers in Cape Town have all begun to burst their banks, compounding the challenges faced by local communities.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis urged residents to remain cautious, stating, “We’re still expecting a lot of strong wind and rain this week. Please stay safe. City teams are addressing each localized flooding situation.”

The ongoing severe weather also impacted the education sector, with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) reporting that five schools were unable to reopen due to flooding, inaccessible routes, or structural damage. Additionally, 82 schools reported varying degrees of damage, with 31 cases considered serious. The WCED has already commenced repair work on the affected schools.

Appreciation for disaster management efforts

Amidst these challenging times, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde expressed his gratitude to the province’s disaster management teams and stakeholders. “Your steadfast dedication to serving the residents of this province is deeply appreciated,” said Winde. The efforts of these teams have been crucial in managing the crisis and mitigating further damage.

As the Western Cape prepares for the second cold front, residents are urged to take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

How do you think communities can better prepare for such extreme weather events in the future?

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