The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned of severe weather conditions in large parts of the Western Cape over the next two days.
The Disaster Management Centre is on high alert for the incoming cut-off low weather system making landfall on Sunday into Monday. Damaging waves, strong winds and severe thunderstorms are also expected in certain parts of the province.
A cut-off low pressure system situated over the Northern Cape bringing in heavy downpours as well as severe thunder storms. Rainfall accumulation is expected to be between 50 and 80mm over the metropole. This could lead to flooding of roads and residential areas including informal settlements.
Widespread damage and loss of infrastructure is also expected.
Khanyisa Makhubalo, SAWS forecaster explains:
“We are expecting some damaging waves to come with the system those together with the strong winds that we are expecting along the south coast as well as the west coast we are expecting some damages in terms of difficulty in navigation at sea and some infrastructural damages are also expected.”
The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre has urged the public to cooperate with officials as the province remains on high alert.
Anton Bredell the MEC of of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape says, “It’s mostly your coastal towns that I’m worried about. Remember that we had good winter rains, the dams are full. So, we keep a very close eye. We activated our disaster management centres, we’ve got all the volunteers and role players involved on standby. We call now on the public to work with us, to listen to the communication of the municipalities and disaster management centres- and to help us to keep the people around us safe.”
Severe Weather Warning | W Cape on high alert:
People living in informal settlements in Lusaka, near Nyanga on the Cape Flats, have appealed to authorities to come to their rescue during this period.
“Our drainage system burst our most of the time often we only get help five to seven days later and so we survive under those bad condition for instance now it is raining and then tomorrow it could be hundred percent we will not be getting any help,” says a Lusaka resident, Yongama Ncanyelo.
“Our situation it’s very bad our homes are leaking and our needs are not being met as we speak my home is being flooded they don’t provide us with anything to cover up our roofs when it’s raining we have to collect the rain with buckets,” adds another resident, Bongekile Mkefa.
Cut-off low pressure system is not uncommon
The weather office says the cut-off low pressure system is not uncommon — especially during the spring period.
Khanyisa Makhubalo, forecaster for SAWS says, “The reason why people might perceive it as strange is because we have been having a lot of cold fronts for the winter and now into the spring we have this cut-off low but it’s actually the time for the cut-off lows.”
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRSI) has also urged the public not to go out to sea during this period.
“Seafarers should wear life their jackets while at sea and we appeal to coastal hikers, shoreline anglers, paddlers, sailboarders, surfers and bathers to rather stay away from rough seas and be safety conscious,” elaborates Craig Lambinon, the NSRI spokesperson.
SAWS issues several weather warnings for parts of Western, Eastern Cape:
Search for missing man continues
Meanwhile, the search continues for a 21-year-old man, who disappeared at Camps Bay beach. He is part of of a church group from Mpumalanga that had a gathering in Green Point.
The City of Cape Town Disaster Management office has cautioned the public to be on alert for severe warnings issued by the weather office. These come with disruptive rainfall across the city, resulting in rapid, heavy downpours, excessive lightning as well as hail. –Additional reporting by Micaleb Lawrence