Storm leaves thousands without power in South Africa
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis signed a major incident declaration on Tuesday, unlocking additional resources and relief measures to deal with the impact of devastating flooding in the South African city and surrounding region.
The Klein River burst its banks during heavy downpours in the Western Cape province on September 24-25, causing at least 11 deaths.
“The heavy rains are an indication of climate change, and while our early warning and mitigations systems did work, we have to keep investing,” Anton Bredell, Western Cape’s provincial minister for local government and development planning, stated on Tuesday.
“We will be having some very serious budget conversations going forward. Our climate strategy is working but it needs to step up,” he added.
Eight of the 11 dead were electrocuted in shacks due to illegal power lines being swamped by water. The flooding caused 84 roads to be closed.
According to the Weather Service, the rain recorded at two stations in Cape Town was the highest for a September day in at least 22 years.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated, while around 80,000 people in the region are believed to have been left without electrical power.
The Department of Social Development and the South African Red Cross Society are coordinating the distribution of aid to the communities affected.
Speaking to RT on Wednesday, environmentalist Allan Schwarz said that “it’s largely human guilt, 99% human guilt and 1% Mother Earth being really pissed off.”