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Howling Cape Town winds set to continue

2010-12-29 22:00

Johannesburg - The South African Weather Service has forecast that the strong, gusting south-easterly winds currently being experienced will persist until the end of the week and are only expected to ease off late on Saturday, the City of Cape Town said on Wednesday.

"The city's disaster risk management centre and fire and rescue services are accordingly advising the public to take precautions against wind damage and to be alert about fire safety," centre spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said in a statement.

"The strong, gusting south-easterly winds and high temperatures between the high 20's and 30's are forecast for the greater part of the week.

"These conditions are favourable for runaway fires that could easily become major blazes.

"It would be advisable to not even attempt to make fires during this time, especially not in open areas where the risk is very high," said the city's chief fire officer, Ian Schnetler.

Residents were asked to take the following measures to prevent wind damage:

* Install straps or additional clips to your roof to secure it to the frame structure, in order to prevent roof damage.

* Be sure trees and shrubs around your home were well trimmed

* Determine how and where to secure your boat

* Maintain exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS) walls

* Protect windows and doors with covers

* Reinforce double entry doors

* Reinforce or replace damaged garage doors

* Secure metal siding and metal roofs

* Secure built-up and single-ply roofs

* Brace gable-end roof framing

* Ensure adequate insurance cover for possible storm damage

* Motorists were requested to watch out for possible broken trees and broken power lines along roadways

* Exercise extreme caution along mountain areas

"It is important to secure your property by affixing permanent wind shutters, which offer the best protection for windows, or utilising boarding," Solomons-Johannes said.

The fire danger: RED warning for the Cape Metropole was still enforced and the general public were requested to apply fire safe practices.

Solomons-Johannes appealed to the general public to heed to the public advisory issued and to listen to the radio or watch television news for the latest weather forecast.

Any emergency and/or distress call could be reported to the 107 emergency number from a Telkom line. Cellphone users needed to dial 021-480-7700.

"The sooner you phone, the sooner help will arrive."

Comments
  • Macho Mike - 2010-12-30 00:06

    Must be all those Vaalies letting off some hot air on their annual pilgrimage to the south.

  • Blip - 2010-12-30 01:47

    Raging near-hurricane force sou'easters define Cape Town summer weather, just as how insane nor'westers with driving, bucketing rain and bitter cold define a Cape Town winter.

  • Kaneelsuiker - 2010-12-30 10:48

    It seems my New Year's fireworks display is out of the question. :-(

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