Barbara, one of the people who regularly follow my blog alerted me, yesterday, to a severe weather incident that has caused destruction and devastation in many areas of South Africa. We visited the same places just two weeks ago. It’s so sad to see some of the areas that we most enjoyed visiting being devastated by storms and fire.
The strongest winter storm in many years in Cape Town has claimed the lives of at least nine people over the last few days. News reports say that destructive winds of over 80 kmh, flooding downpours and frequent lightning have battered the region early this week.
Wind gusts of over 80 km/h were apparently common throughout the Cape Town, causing extensive damage. Eight people died and there were many injuries due to flying debris. Flooding occurred from more than 25 mm of rain falling quickly in some locations. While the city desperately needs rain to alleviate its current drought, this a very harsh way for it to receive relief.
Along the Garden Route, and especially in Knysna (silent ‘K’) up to 10,000 residents were forced to flee their homes as fires fuelled by the same storm winds and dry vegetation ripped through the town. Many of the places that we visited, and enjoyed, have been devastated, or severely damaged by fires that would rival any of the severe bushfires that we get in Australia. At last four people have died. We stopped for two nights in this town and visited a number of local attractions.
This news report shows just how bad these fires were.
I’m so glad that we were able to see this area without this devastation and our thoughts go out to all those affected by this terrible natural disaster. If we had have chosen the next tour on our tour company’s departure schedule, we may have well been caught up in this disaster. How fickle the weather can be!