5 dead as storm brings some relief to drought-hit Cape Town

Posted June 08, 2017

Eight people have been killed and thousands forced from their homes as South Africa's tourist base Cape Town and surrounding areas is hit by the worst winter storm in 30 years, officials say.

A family of four died in a fire caused by lightning Kraaifontein.

The storm hit the Cape Peninsula early on Wednesday morning, which some have described as the "worst storm in living memory".

While one single storm will not end drought conditions, any rainfall is welcomed as two dams in the region had completely dried up in May, according to the BBC.

SA Weather Service forecaster William Msimanga explains what people can expect.

This June 2017 Cape Town storm uprooted trees, damaged homes, and flooded several areas of the South African city.

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By Wednesday night, Disaster Risk Management officials had made assessments in the following areas: Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Macassar Village, Faure and Wesbank. Now it urges residents to capture rain from the storm in containers for flushing toilets and other needs.

Schools and universities have had to shut, roofs were blown off and shelters have been opened for those left destitute.

The City of Cape Town advised residents on Wednesday to not use more water just because it was raining, reminding them that the use of water was still officially for essential use only.

"We must, therefore, continue to save water now and we can not afford to have our water use influenced by the weather - using less than 100 litres per person per day, whether at home, work, school or elsewhere, remains the requirement".

The provincial government warned the public to stay away from the beaches, with sea swells of 12 meters (39 feet) expected.