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Thousands left homeless after heavy winds

Thousands of people have been left homeless in Khayelitsha after a strong wind swept through Nkandla informal settlement on Thursday night. The incident happened when residents where about to sleep.

Many were left in the open as their shacks flew up in the air with their properties scattered all over. Residents said the wind, which they believe to be a tornado happened for less than five minutes. “It was scary, the wind was roaring.

Thousands left homeless after heavy winds
Residents were left in the open after a strong wind destroyed their homes. Photos by Ezitshisayo

“At first, I thought it was a plane that was flying a few meters above my shack. When I checked through the window, there was something colorful moving towards my direction. Before I knew it, I found myself on the ground with my shack gone. I had sand all over my face,” said a resident Unathi Ngqangulana (45).

Community leader Sifumanekile Mankayi said they are shocked by the developments. “It is scary, we have never experienced this before. We are still counting the number of structures that are affected and we have got the actual number. My estimation is that the affected people range between 5000 to 8000,” he said.

Thousands left homeless after heavy winds
Residents were left in the open after a strong wind destroyed their shacks. Photos by Ezitshisayo

So far, Mankayi said together with ward 99 councillor Lonwabo Mqina, they are looking for ways to help residents.
Disaster and Risk Management spokesperson in the City of Cape Town Charlotte Powell said, their counting so far has found that 800 structures have been damaged. She added that they have reached out to the City’s Informal Settlements Management Department and the National Human Settlements Department for assistance.

Residents said they were left with no option but to make fire keep themselves warm during the cold night. When Ezitshisayo visited the area in the afternoon, some residents including children had not eaten since they didn’t have food.

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