South Africa – Evacuations and Rescues After Storm Triggers Floods in Western Cape

A heavy storm in the Western Cape, South Africa, caused flooding in some parts of the province from 05 May 2021.

Floods in Cape Agulhas, South Africa, May 2021. Photo credit: A Struisbaai resident, via Cape Agulhas Municipality

Areas of Overberg district have suffered some of the worst of the flooding. Around 90 mm of rain fell in Cape Agulhas in 24 hours to 06 May 2021, while 122 mm fell in Struisbaai during the same period.

Several people were evacuated from their homes in Cape Agulhas municipality of the district. One person was reported missing at Stormsvlei, where several people had to be rescued from flooded homes and vehicles. Other rescues were carried out in Riviersonderend.

In a statement of 05 May 2021, Cape Agulhas Municipality said, “We are currently experiencing heavy floods in some parts of L’Agulhas, Struisbaai, and Struisbaai North. Rescue teams have been deployed to the area including the Disaster Management of the Overberg District Municipality. People are being evacuated from their homes and will be housed at the Struisbaai Caravan Park, Struisbaai Community Hall, and other places of accommodation. We are monitoring and assessing other areas and will keep you informed should the situation change.”

The provincial government said “the winter storm that made landfall in the Southern Cape earlier today (05 May) has led to severe localised flooding in the communities of Struisbaai, Cape Agulhas and surrounding areas. Several roads in the Southern Cape have been flooded and road users are urged to be cautious while using the roads.”

The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell says evacuations are being done of homes in the affected areas and rescue teams have been deployed to the area to assist.

“People being evacuated from their homes are being housed at the Struisbaai Caravan Park and Struisbaai Community Hall. The Cape Agulhas Municipality Joint Operational Centre (JOC) has been activated for all disaster management matters.”

Local media also report 2 people died in Bonnievale, Cape Winelands District, after a truck became stuck in flood waters.

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