South African Weather Services gave out warnings for severe weather conditions across the Western Cape Province and other parts of the country. A huge storm had been predicted to hit Cape Town, one which has not yet precedent-ed its severity.
These storm warnings were issued in the first week of June, predicting that the storm would hit Cape Town by the 7 June 2017. The storm had caused much anxieties that even the Department of Education had granted schools (primary and high school) the day off in precaution to the weather which the country’s weather services had warned about. The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Vice Chancellor had also given UCT students the day off in light of the storm. Such a precaution hasn’t ever been taken in Cape Town, an area known for its ‘mild’ weather with rare extremes. This act alone made the storm a very real one with much scary anticipations around it.
The night before the storm was to commence, heavy rainfall, strong winds, and high waves (9 m -12 m) along the coastal areas of the Cape Peninsula were to give Captonians a preview of what was to come the following day. Cape Town City Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille had confirmed that Disaster Risk Management teams will be on high alert for the storm and that various operations had been in place.
With Cape Town stillS having a very real water crisis at hand, a storm brought many smiles to many people as they were super jolly for the rain to pour! Thee people though, were not thinking about the harmful effects the storm could cause not only to the environment, but to our fellow human beings.
Area’s in Cape Town experienced strong winds and periods of rainfall, very much an anti-climax to what many people had expected. The weather wasn’t as extreme as weather reports had said it would be, though the Atlantic Seaboard of course felt the effects of high sea waves. Most areas in Cape Town were free of damage caused by the storm, but particular area’s had tree’s, street poles and roofs damaged by gale-force winds and huge coastal waves.
Knysna is among the areas most striked by the storm. The town was faced veld fires which only worsened due to the strength of the wind which came with the storm. The entire town had to be evacuated. Many homes and buildings were destroyed by the fires. The fire caused much damage to the environment, infrastructure, and took 3 lives in the process.
While these are heart breaking events, the storm is a consequence of global climate change, and if we continue to sit back and watch the environment being destroyed, we will only see more of such extreme weather conditions.
Sources : http://lowvelder.co.za/390283/water-wednesday-cape-town-storm-update/