Homes Destroyed as Fires Rage in South Africa's Western Cape

Homes Destroyed as Fires Rage in South Africa's Western Cape

Winter storm unleashes heavy rain and wind on South African city, displacing thousands already coping with drought.

Up to 10,000 people in the South African coastal resort of Knysna have been evacuated as wildfires fanned by strong winds ripped through the town, razing homes and other properties, officials said on Thursday.

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

The town mayor, Eleanore Bouw-Spies, described the fires as the worst in decades. "We are trying to secure it at this stage, meaning that we do not want this fire to spread out of control again and run away from us, should the wind change direction or intensify".

The death toll in South Africa's raging storms that hit the Western Cape region has reached nine, and thousands have been displaced from their homes, officials said Thursday.

Many people in Knysna have had no cellphone connection, and have needed to use WiFi, including the media teams down there.

More news: Curry, Durant power Warriors past Cavs in Game 1, 113-91

Eight people were killed by the blaze, according to Reuters.

Western Cape authorities ordered for the closure of schools and universities in the province on Wednesday for the safety of students and teachers.

The City of Cape Town has launched a donation campaign for those in need of help.

The storm also forced President Jacob Zuma, who was in the city, to cancel a scheduled speech at an global media conference in Durban, a city on the Indian Ocean coastline, his office said.

The storm is expected to dump more than two inches (50 mm) of rain in some areas and trigger waves of up to 12 meters, the South African Weather Service said in warnings. Some 2000 people across the city are receiving humanitarian relief.

Related Articles

  • Behold, the Tesla Model Y (in near-total darkness)

    Behold, the Tesla Model Y (in near-total darkness)

    Above is our first look at its latest model - a smaller sibling to the Model X SUV , which will be dubbed the Model Y. The California-based electric auto manufacturer has divulged some details to accompany the cryptic picture, too.
    DNC Allies: Clinton Wrong to Blame National Party for Loss

    DNC Allies: Clinton Wrong to Blame National Party for Loss

    She didn't bother to mention that DNC operatives were alleged to have helped her secure the nomination in the first place. To pull it off, Russians would have needed to be "guided by Americans", she added later.
    Saudi's Falih says more oil output cuts possible, will assess in July

    Saudi's Falih says more oil output cuts possible, will assess in July

    West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.34, or 2.7 percent, to settle at $48.32 per barrel, its lowest close since May 12. Oil exports from the country also reached over 1 million barrels a day in late May, according to Bernstein Research.
  • Alleged NSA Leaker May Have Had Plans to Release More, Feds Say

    Alleged NSA Leaker May Have Had Plans to Release More, Feds Say

    Victor is set to go before US Magistrate Judge Brian Epps for a detention hearing Thursday in Augusta, Nichols said . Winner's mother, Billie Winner-Davis; stepfather, Gary Davis; and a friend testified in court. "I know my daughter".

    Apple previews WatchOS 4 for Apple Watch

    The Siri face will deliver information to the user depending on what time it is and what events the user has lined up for the day. It includes many new features, such as updated applications, new watch faces, and improved general functionality.

    Grande honors Manchester victims

    On Friday the 23-year-old singer made a surprise visit to injured fans being treated at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. The concert will be broadcast on a variety of outlets. "We need to try and find a way to overcome the fear ".
  • More than an inch of rain likely to fall in MA

    More than an inch of rain likely to fall in MA

    Tuesday , it will be sunny with a high near 81, the weather service said, and an east northeast wind of 8 to 10 miles per hour . Otherwise it will be mostly cloudy with a high approaching 90 and winds from the southeast at 5 to 7 miles per hour .
    Donald Trump will not block James Comey testimony

    Donald Trump will not block James Comey testimony

    Mueller, respected for his independence and thoroughness, has so far been silent about taking over the investigations. This comes in wake of much speculation that the U.S. president may in fact exercise his right to block it.
    In Saudi Arabia, Trump admits India is 'victim of terrorism'

    In Saudi Arabia, Trump admits India is 'victim of terrorism'

    Tillerson's remarks came the day after Trump delivered a speech widely seen as an olive branch to the Muslim world. Trump, wearing a yarmulke, on Monday became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall.
  • Apple Introduces Echo Rival Home Pod And More At WWDC17

    Apple Introduces Echo Rival Home Pod And More At WWDC17

    Apple also says the little speaker features spatially aware software and is running on the Apple A8 chip. IDC estimates that Apple shipped about 3.6 million watches during the first three months of the year.

    Cristiano Ronaldo tops the world's highest-paid athletes in 2017

    James was one of 32 National Basketball Association players who made the top 100 this year, up from 18 last year. Other footballers who made it into the top 50 are Neymar (18), Gareth Bale (24) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (30).
    Graham Rahal wins 1st of 2 Detroit Grand Prix IndyCar races

    Graham Rahal wins 1st of 2 Detroit Grand Prix IndyCar races

    James Hinchcliffe gave Honda a podium sweep by placing third in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry. Americans Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top-five at fourth and fifth respectively.