Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

The Western Cape has been pummeled by relentless cold fronts since the weekend, bringing heavy rain and flooding that have impacted thousands of residents. The province remains on high alert as the severe weather is expected to continue into next week.

Disaster Management Teams in Action

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde expressed his deep gratitude to emergency personnel for their tireless efforts in mitigating the impact of the weather. Disaster management teams are closely monitoring the situation through the Joint Operations Centre (JOC). Their dedication to keeping residents safe is commendable.

Damage Assessment and Relief Efforts

The storm has caused significant damage, impacting an estimated 4,000 structures and displacing roughly 15,000 residents in Cape Town Metro alone. Working hand-in-hand with NGOs, authorities are providing much-needed relief by distributing 11,000 hot meals daily to those affected. The Western Cape Department of Social Development, along with partner NGOs like the Gift of the Givers Foundation and The Warehouse Foundation, is coordinating broader relief efforts. This includes providing not only food and shelter but also vital psychosocial support to those struggling in the wake of the disaster.

Heavy Rainfall and Rising River Levels

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) recorded substantial rainfall across the province, with Paarl receiving the highest amount at 61mm. With rivers reaching full capacity, the Department of Water and Sanitation is keeping a watchful eye on potential overflows.

Dam Levels Rise, Controlled Releases Implemented

The heavy precipitation has led to a significant increase in dam levels. Clanwilliam Dam is now at 90.89%, Berg River Dam at 104.06%, Theewaterskloof Dam at 76%, and Misverstand Dam at 161%. As a precautionary measure, controlled water releases have begun from Wemmershoek Dam into the Berg River to manage water levels and prevent flooding downstream.

Power Outages Persist in Some Areas

While efforts are underway to address electricity faults, over 11,000 residents remain without power in areas like Citrusdal, De Doorns, Touwsrivier, and parts of Delft.

The Western Cape is facing a challenging situation, but with dedicated efforts from emergency personnel, social development teams, and NGOs, the province is working to overcome these obstacles and support those affected by the severe weather.

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