#CapeStorm: Scores of displaced, homeless people to spend the night at alternative shelters

2017-06-07 21:04
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GALLERY: #CapeStorm hits the mother city hard

View images of the major storm currently underway in Cape Town, leaving several locations in destruction.

Cape Town – Scores of Capetonians will spend the night in community halls and shelters following a raging storm that is expected to lash much of the Western Cape until Friday.

Safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said 870 structures had been destroyed while more than 2 500 people had been affected by water-logged homes. More than 100 people have been displaced and would be spending the night at community halls while more than 100 homeless people had also sought shelter at night havens.

Smith said about 100 trees were uprooted, which resulted in several blocked roads and snapped power lines. Several coastal roads were closed due to high tide.

“About 148 homeless people have been encouraged to take shelter as the weather is expected to last throughout the night with rain also being forecast for tonight [Wednesday]. The storm is expected to carry on until 06:00 [on Thursday],” he said.

According to Disaster Management's Charlotte Powell, their NGO partners were helping by providing hot meals, blankets and clothing to assist those affected. Residents in informal settlements were being provided with flood kits, said Powell.

Powell said in a statement that the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) is providing sandbags and sand to affected communities with standby crews ready to attend to any flooding.


Hassan Khan, CEO of Haven Night Shelter has appealed to those who are able to help to donate single bed blankets as more people make their way to the shelter to keep themselves warm from the cold. The shelter can take in up to 1 300 people.

“As a shelter, we have 1 300 formal beds which have already been occupied, with the remainder of people sitting on chairs and in dining halls. We are climbing closer to 1 500 people who are taking up room in our formal beds.

"We offer those who are homeless blankets as it gets colder, food, and general hospitality for about 10 days. We are hoping to get those who are here to stay permanently so that they can stay here and talk to our social workers, who might be able to get them in touch with their families,” said Khan, adding that people can only stay at the shelter for six months.

Capetonians have been asked to remain indoors following a storm which has ravaged the province, damaging malls and property, fanning fires, and leading to a number of blocked roads.

Eight people have been confirmed dead, four of whom died due to fire caused by lightning.

“We remain concerned about the extreme cold weather moving into the province as night falls, and urge the public to remain indoors and dress warmly,” said James-Brent Styan, the spokesperson for the province’s local government MEC, Anton Bredell.

In a statement, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) said that the Western Cape was currently on a severe weather warning, with wind speeds reported to be between 70- and 100km/h. The City said that rainfall figures ranged between 20mm and 50mm in the Peninsula, with more rain expected overnight.

Read more on:    cape town  |  weather

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