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South Africa: Wildfire warning in Knysna from June 9 /update 3

Severe fire risk reported in Knysna from June 9-12 after 10,000 residents were evacuated

12 Jun 12:29 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 6/9/2017, 12:00 AM until 6/12/2017, 11:59 PM (Africa/Johannesburg). COUNTRY/REGION Western Cape, Western Cape

Event

The Western Cape Disaster Management authority has issued a severe fire risk warning for the weekend of June 9 -12 in Knysna. Weather forecasts predict gale-force winds and officials have warned against individuals lighting fires in the Eden district at all costs. An estimated 85 percent of current wildfires have been contained by emergency services, including firefighters, the police, the army, emergency medical services, and CapeNature after approximately 300 buildings were destroyed in the blaze. Around 800 firefighters have been deployed in preparation for the weekend.

Transportation disruptions are likely as a result of the extreme weather.

Context

Up to 10,000 people were evacuated from the coastal resort of Knysna (Western Cape region) due to significant wildfires caused by strong winds in excess of 50 km/h (30 mph) overnight of Wednesday, June 7, into Thursday, June, 8. The winter storms reportedly caused significant damage to properties and infrastructure in the town.

A "severe" weather warning indicates an extreme meteorological event or phenomenon, which represents a threat to human life and property.

Advice

Individuals present in the Western Cape region are advised to keep abreast of weather forecasts, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. potential evacuation orders), and allow additional time to travel. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock an adult over.

 

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