Cape Town prepares for mudslides, flash floods, gale force winds

2017-06-06 11:00
The scene on a main road near the Nyanga township on the outskirts of Cape Town following a storm. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

The scene on a main road near the Nyanga township on the outskirts of Cape Town following a storm. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town is bracing for a massive storm and plans to have its disaster operation centre in Goodwood on full alert from Tuesday evening to co-ordinate any emergency responses.

An anticipated cold front, making landfall on Tuesday evening, could possibly lead to flash flooding in several low-lying areas, City of Cape Town's disaster spokesperson Charlotte Powell told News24.

"From the operation centre, we would be able to make strategic decisions, with input from officials on the ground, where we should direct our relief," she said.

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The operation centre consists of members from all city services, including safety and security, roads, electricity, social development and informal settlements.

Powell said the activation of the disaster operation centre was a proactive measure to deal with the looming storm.

The South African Weather Service issued a severe weather warning for flash flooding, hail, and gale force winds in the Western Cape.

Rainfall of up to 50mm within 24 hours is expected in certain areas.

Disaster relief for informal settlements

City officials have been busy over the past few months with risk assessments to prepare for storm-related disasters, Powell said.

"We have identified informal settlements, such as Masiphumelele, which is in a wetland, [and therefore] very vulnerable for flooding. Areas such as Gugulethu and Khayelitsha are also in wetlands. They are all priority areas for disaster relief," she said.

"The promenade, False Bay area can also experience storm surges."

Powell said the South Peninsula was also at risk of mudslides following recent fires in the area.

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"We are not saying it is going to happen, but we have placed mesh in areas such as Chapman’s Peak, at risk for rocks falling, and other risk areas," she said.

Powell said the City’s non-profit partners were on standby.

"If an area needs to be evacuated our NGO partners will be activated to assist. In terms of emergency sheltering we will open our community halls for temporary shelter."

Use the slider at the bottom to see how the storm will move in the coming days

Read more on:    cape town  |  weather

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