News24

Three die in Western Cape cold

2012-07-18 15:23

Cape Town - Three people died of hypothermia in the Klein Karoo at the weekend, Western Cape developmental planning MEC Anton Bredell said on Wednesday.

Icy temperatures caused by heavy snow led to the deaths of Jan Kaptein, 47, in Uniondale, and two women in Avontuur and De Rust.

Another woman, 28, who went missing in a river on an Oskraal farm, was presumed drowned.

Bredell said he was pleased by the detailed plan of the Eden district to prevent widespread flood damage and loss of life and property. The district breached two big river mouths to avert flooding.

Cape Town disaster teams returned on Wednesday after helping in mop-up operations.

Over the last few days about 120 people were trapped because of the snow on seven farms in the central Karoo. All were evacuated by helicopter, including a mother and her newborn baby.

"Some farm roads have been reopened, but for 4x4 access only. More supplies arrived on Tuesday afternoon from Cape Town and this is in preparation for longer-term contingencies related to possible bad weather in the coming days," Bredell said.

The SA Weather Service said earlier in the week that a cold front was likely to hit the western parts of the Western Cape on Friday.

Bredell said a meeting would be held on Thursday to put measures in place for "possible freezing weather incidents".