Cave collapses on homeless people

2013-08-29 10:27
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Western Cape floods

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Cape Town - A homeless person is believed to have died when a cave collapsed in Hout Bay on Wednesday night as a result of heavy rain in the Western Cape.

City of Cape Town disaster risk management said four homeless people were in the cave behind the Chapman's Peak Hotel in Hout Bay when it caved in at about 23:00 on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said three of the vagrants evacuated to safety, but the fourth one was trapped.

"Emergency crews were dispatched to the scene, however, [they were] unsuccessful in recovering the man due to dangerous weather conditions overnight associated with heavy rains and gusting winds."

The search and rescue operations were due to resume on Thursday morning, on the assumption that he is still alive.

Another death

A 76-year-old homeless man was found dead in Kuils River on Wednesday, after he apparently froze to death. A second man who was found with him was hospitalised in a critical condition, according to Sapa.

Night shelters have experienced an increase in homeless people seeking shelter. The Haven night shelter in Green Point said its intake had doubled in the last two days.

"We make a plan to accommodate them by putting extra mattresses on the floor, and hospitals have also donated folding beds," The Haven's Hassan Khan told The Cape Argus.

The wet weather lashing the Cape Peninsula has caused widespread flooding, leaving thousands of residents destitute. Chapman's Peak Drive and the Franschhoek Pass were closed to traffic following mudslides.

The heavy rain and cold, windy conditions were expected to continue until Sunday. The SA Weather Service has warned of localised flooding, rough seas and snow on higher ground.

- Have you been affected by the weather? Send us your stories and photos.

Read more on:    cape town  |  weather

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