Western Cape storm: 2 dead, 2 missing, evacuations and rescues ... 'it was complete chaos'

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Winter storms have made landfall in the Southern Cape.
Winter storms have made landfall in the Southern Cape.
Reinard Geldenhuys/ Fire and Disaster Management
  • The Overberg and surrounding areas continue to be hardest hit by the winter storm.
  • Two people in the Bonnievale area died on Wednesday.
  • The evacuation of over 30 farm workers is currently underway in Riviersonderend.

Heavy winter storms continue to take a toll on the Western Cape, with two people reported missing and the evacuation of 30 farm workers currently underway in Riviersonderend.

The Overberg, specifically Bredasdorp, Struisbaai, Riviersonderend and the surrounding areas, continue to be hardest hit by the winter storm, which made landfall on Tuesday evening.

Many areas are still flooded.

Two people in the Bonnievale area died on Wednesday evening.

Search and rescue efforts are also continuing for two missing people - one in Stormsvlei and one in Riviersonderend. 

READ | Western Cape storm: Air support grounded as weather wreaks havoc

Multiple rescue efforts are continuing.

It includes a mother and her three children rescued in Stormsvlei, two men rescued in Riviersonderend, two medical evacuations ongoing in Riviersonderend, and two men rescued in Greyton and Riviersonderend.

The Malgas community has been cut off by the rising Breede River, and the area is at risk of being flooded.

The rising water levels are being monitored by the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said District Municipal Fire and Rescue and other agencies are all deployed and are assisting communities across the affected regions.

ALSO READ | Western Cape storm: SA Air Force asked to be on standby to rescue people trapped by floods

"In addition, the South African Air Force has put an Oryx helicopter on standby to assist with search and rescue operations when conditions allow.

"The SA Weather Service predicts the bad weather will continue to Saturday and, while less rain is predicted for the City of Cape Town, a warning has been issued for heavy rain in Oudtshoorn."

In Struisbaai, evacuations have been carried out since the storm arrived.

Cape Agulhas mayor, Paul Swart, said the municipality is dealing with the after-effects of the storm.

"Wednesday was complete chaos. Many of the residents, who were evacuated, are staying at the community hall, while some are with friends and family. The weather forecast, at the moment, looks like we can expect more rain until the weekend," he said.

Resident Forezia Thompson told News24 that extractors are being used to pump water out of the homes.

"The people are very scared and they have lost a lot during these floods."

Donations have continued to stream in for affected residents, while Checkers and USave have provided mobile soup units to Riviersonderend and Struisbaai.

Blankets, dry goods and toiletries have also been donated.

The SA Social Security Agency has tasked Gift of the Givers with delivering blankets and food to Struisbaai.

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