On Saturday, high storm tides wreaked havoc along the coastlines of the Western Cape, leading to the tragic death of a 93-year-old woman. The storms also caused damage to several properties. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) reported that in addition to the fatality, one person was injured during the incident.
According to Craig Lambinon, spokesperson for the NSRI, widespread damage was observed along the George and Wilderness areas of the Southern Cape coastline. The elderly woman lost her life when she was swept off her feet by a powerful wave that penetrated her car park, dragging her and several vehicles with it. Another individual sustained injuries and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Lambinon expressed concern about the ongoing high tides and rough waters, which are expected to persist until Thursday, September 21. He specifically highlighted the potential dangers associated with low tide on Sunday morning and forecasted storm surges between 3pm and 6pm along the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and KwaZulu Natal coastal areas. He urged the public to exercise caution and stay out of harm’s way.
In response to the situation, the George municipality took proactive measures by closing all its beaches. The municipality has also put its disaster management services on high alert. The municipality warned that additional high tide surges, predicted to reach up to 2.9 meters, were expected later in the day.
Cape Town also experienced the impacts of the storm tides, as numerous vehicles and properties were affected. Jean-Pierre Smith, the Mayco member for Safety, revealed that the natural spring tides, combined with strong winds and high seas, created extreme conditions along the coastal areas. Waves broke over the high-water mark, resulting in flooding and damage to various properties and vehicles.
The public is advised to remain vigilant, monitor South African Weather Service alerts, and avoid unnecessary risks to ensure their safety.
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