World

Latest on Cape storm, fires

Latest on Cape storm, fires

Up to 20 suburbs have been damaged and 10 000 people evacuated in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay as fires continue to spread on Thursday in the Western Cape.

Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb, reporting from Cape Town, said the problem "isn't simply because of the weather, but also because of the poor state of housing of so many people living in the area".

Cape Town and surrounding areas experienced severe storm conditions on Wednesday, as high-speed winds, lighting and heavy rain caused damage to homes and infrastructure.

He said in one incident a family of four died in a fire caused by lightning, while another person died due to a building collapse.

"To date between 8,000 and 10,000 Knysna inhabitants have been safely evacuated".

Colin Deiner, the chief director of the Western Cape's fire service, told a local radio stationthat at least 150 structures had been destroyed.

On Wednesday, authorities urged residents to capture rain from the storm in containers for flushing toilets and other needs.




It further reported that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would deploy troops to patrol and stop any looting from taking place in evacuated areas.

"We've never seen fires of this nature".

"Profit will be under pressure", said Richard Hasson, an analyst at Electus Fund Managers in Cape Town.

The MECs said there was now a "humanitarian crisis" in Knysna.

Provincial disaster management officials said they had received large amounts of donations which a courier company had offered to move to the Southern Cape.

Operation SA and the Al-Imdaad Foundation launched an urgent appeal for funds to assist victims of the devastating storms and fires in the Western Cape.

"The money will go directly to the Al-Imdaad Foundation who have teams on stand-by to buy essential items such as food, blankets and clothing".


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