Updated: South Africa – 7 Dead, Thousands Affected by Floods in Cape Town and Durban

Update, 28 July 2016

The number of flood-related deaths in KwaZulu-Natal has increased to at least 5, with later reports claiming further victims, bringing the death toll to a possible 7.

The KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs department (Cogta) on Wednesday said floods had claimed five lives in the province.

Cogta said in a statement:

“Extreme weather has so far claimed 5 lives and many other people have been left homeless and destitute in the wake of the worst floods to hit KZN this year. The flood damage is running into millions of rands.

“A significant number of communities lost their homes and belongings through these disaster incidents and infrastructure was seriously damaged. Government across all spheres is providing a coordinated response to the situation.

“We continue to urge residents to heed all available advice from the authorities regarding the extreme weather conditions.”

Late yesterday, South African Broadcasting Corporation reported 2 further fatalities. The victims are believed to have died in Cato Manor near Durban after a mud wall collapsed onto their homes.


Original Article, 27 July 2016

Flooding has affected parts of Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces over the last 2 days. Thousands of homes have been damaged and at least 1 person reported dead.

Areas of South Africa has seen severe weather, including storms, strong winds, heavy rain and snow since 25 July. Further severe weather warnings for Western and Northern Cape provinces have been issued.

Western Cape

Flooding in the Western Cape, South Africa, yesterday 26 July, affected between 10,000 to 15,000 people, according to local disaster management officials.

The areas of Phillipi and Khayelitsha were worst hit. As many as 1,500 buildings and 6,000 people were affected by flooding in Phillipi, while in Khayelitsha 800 buildings and 3,200 people were affected.

Relief workers have been distributing blankets and food to those affected. It is not clear if there have been any evacuations.

Charlotte Powell, Head of Public Awareness at the Disaster Risk Management Centre told Cape Talk radio station that Disaster Risk Management officials have collaborated with NGO partners, including the Red Cross, the Mustadifin Foundation and the Salvation Army, to help 15,000 people affected by the severe weather.

“Our biggest concern is those living in informal settlements across the city, who are the most vulnerable.”

Durban and KwaZulu-Natal Province

Severe weather is also affecting areas around Durban, where local authorities have closed beaches in due to high seas and storm damage. Roads have been flooded across the city, causing problems for motorists.

Kwazulu-Natal emergency services say they are working round the clock to minimise impact of flash flooding on communities. “Disaster personnel from all municipalities have joined our disaster management teams to provide emergency assistance to residents”, they said via Social Media.

So far the worst-hit area is Ugu district, where emergency accommodation is being provided for a community. Other affected areas include Amanzimtoti, Inanda, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu, uMlazi and Yellow Wood Park.

Heavy rain has been affecting parts of KwaZulu-Natal province since Saturday 23 July. On 26 July one woman reportedly died after her car was swept away by flood water in Chatsworth.

Heavy snowfall was also reported in several towns in KwaZulu-Natal as temperatures dipped to below zero on Monday, 25 July.

Severe Weather Warnings

South African Weather Service (SAWS) have issued severe weather warnings for storms and heavy rain in Northern and Western Cape provinces. SAWS said:

“Severe thunderstorms are expected over the western parts of the Central Karoo and the Little Karoo of the Western Cape province this afternoon (Friday). Flooding is expected in places over northern parts of the West Coast districts today (Wednesday). Heavy rain is expected in places over northern parts of the West Coast districts today (Wednesday).”

In Northern Cape province, severe thunderstorms are expected over Umsobomvu and Renosterberg. SAWS said that “strong winds (50 to 62km/h) are expected over the western parts of the Northern Cape overnight today (Wednesday) moderating from the west and spreading to the southern parts of the Northern Cape on Thursday morning. Heavy rain and flooding is expected in places in the south-western parts of the Northern Cape today (Wednesday).”

Rainfall

24 hour period from 25 to 26 July

  • Mandini – 70 mm
  • Mtunzini – 101 mm
  • Port Edward – 74 mm
  • Margate – 142 mm
  • Port St Johns – 63 mm
  • Struisbaai – 51 mm
  • Cape Agulhas – 74.6 mm
  • Vyeboom – 51 mm

24 hour period from 26 to 27 July

  • Charters Creek – 85 mm
  • Durban Intnl. Airport – 109 mm
  • Mount Edgecombe – 60 mm

Social Media

Flood summary

Last updated: July 28, 2016
Event
South Africa, July 2016
Date
July 25, 2016
Type
Flash flood, Inland flood, Storm surge
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Cape Town
B - Durban

Magnitude

Rainfall level
109 mm in 24 hours
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - July 26 to July 27, 2016
Rainfall level
101 mm in 24 hours
Mtunzini, KwaZulu-Natal - July 25 to July 26, 2016
Rainfall level
142 mm in 24 hours
Margate, KwaZulu-Natal - July 25 to July 26, 2016

Damages

Affected
10,000
Cape Town - July 25 to July 27, 2016
Fatalities
7 people
KwaZulu-Natal - July 25 to July 28, 2016