Cape Town disaster crews on high alert amid weather warning

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People struggle to keep balance during strong winds in the Cape Town CBD. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Esa Alexander)
People struggle to keep balance during strong winds in the Cape Town CBD. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Esa Alexander)
  • Cape Town emergency crews are on high alert as gale-force winds are expected.
  • The SA Weather Service has issued a warning for most of the province.
  • The Garden Route saw heavy rain and localised flooding earlier this week.

Cape Town emergency crews are on high alert as gale-force winds are expected to hit the Peninsula on Thursday.

The City of Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management Centre said it was expecting "damaging winds over the next few days" following a warning issued by the SA Weather Service (SAWS).

The SAWS issued a yellow warning for the Western Cape, with strong winds expected to bring disruption to coastal areas.

The strong winds are likely to cause localised disruptions in small harbours or ports, with small vessels having difficulty with navigation at sea, as well as being at risk of taking on water and capsizing. The SAWS has recommended that all small vessels seek shelter in harbours, bays or inlets.

"An intense weather system will result in strong to gale-force south-east to easterly winds (60 to 70km/h, gusting to 80 to 100km/h) between Saldanha Bay and Plettenberg Bay from Thursday afternoon until Saturday," the SAWS said in a statement.

"Over the interior, strong to gale-force north-easterly winds will affect the eastern Namakwa District in the Northern Cape and Western Cape, spreading to the Garden Route by Friday," it said.

For coastal towns, there was a risk of widespread damage to informal and formal settlements as well as structural damage.

The warning included the Garden Route, which was beset by heavy rains and localised flooding earlier this week.

READ | Authorities on high alert as more adverse weather expected along the Garden Route

The flooding, which was at its worse in George and surrounding areas, saw some schools closed and municipal services halted, as road closures were effected.

"The City's services are on standby to deal with any impacts related to the predicted weather warning. Any weather-related emergencies can be directed to the City's Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone, or 107 from a landline," City of Cape Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said.

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