According to officials, one of the worst winter storms in over 30 years hit Cape Town on Wednesday, June 7. At least eight people have been killed by the storm, including four people who died in a fire caused by lightning. Hundreds of homes have been damaged or flooded by the rains, leaving thousands of residents homeless. The South African Weather Service warned that the storm is expected to trigger waves up to 12 m (39 ft) off the coast.
“Severe” weather warnings for the Western Cape region for Wednesday, June 7, and Thursday, June 8, by the South African Weather Service. Heavy rain and strong winds are forecast; subsequent flooding and coastal surges are possible through June 8. Metrorail services between Kraaifontein and Bellville were suspended (as of the afternoon of June 7) and all schools in the region are closed, including the University of Cape Town. Humanitarian aid has been dispatched to assist affected communities.
A “severe” weather warning indicates an extreme meteorological event or phenomenon, which represents a threat to human life and property.
Individuals present in the Western Cape region are advised to keep abreast of weather forecasts, follow all instructions as 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.