Graaff-Reinet plunged into darkness on Thursday night after powerlines were downed by falling trees due to strong winds.
- A severe storm, with gale-force winds, hit the Eastern Cape.
- Buffalo City firefighters responded to grass and shack fires.
- Graaff-Reinet was plunged into darkness as power lines were damaged by falling trees.
Severe weather and strong winds caused havoc in the Eastern Cape.
As a result, one person was killed in a shack fire in Mdantsane, while the roofs of dozens of houses were blown off in East London and Graaff-Reinet.
Buffalo City metro spokesperson, Samkelo Ngwenya, said the fatal incident happened near the Mdantsane highway taxi rank.
Ngwenya said firefighters responded to 26 grass fires, which were fanned by strong winds.
Beyers Naude municipality spokesperson, Edwardine Abader, said large parts of Graaf-Reinet experienced power outages after powerlines were damaged by falling trees on Thursday.
Abader said the municipality received 83 complaints related to power supply problems.
“Our electrical department attended to the restoring of power supply until 02:30 and continued working throughout the [Friday] morning,” said Abader.
Strong winds uprooted giant trees in Graaff-Reinet on Thursday night.
Strong winds wreak havoc in Graaff-Reinet
Strong winds left a trail of destruction in Graaf-Reinet on Thursday night
A storm with strong winds left a trail of destruction in Graaff-Reinet on Thursday night
The South African Weather Service issued a yellow level 2 warning for coastal areas due to the strong winds.
The strong winds were also expected along the coastline, between Tsitsikamma and Port Edward, on Friday and would continue into Saturday evening.
Buffalo City also experienced service interruptions overnight in relation to electricity, fires, water and traffic, according to Ngwenya.
“These strong winds fuel fires very quickly, and the metro is calling on residents to be extra cautious when dealing with fires, particularly grass and shack fires.”
Ngwenya said the roofs of temporary structures in Braelyn blew off on Thursday.
Two shack fires were reported in Ginsberg, outside Qonce, and at Scenery Park in East London.
“We also had water interruptions and blockages reported yesterday [Thursday] in households in Mount Coke, East London’s Griffin Road and Rose Garden Lane, Halifax Road in Vergenoeg, Southernwood and Brayelyn.”
Power interruptions were reported in households in Dimbaza, Breidbach, Mdantsane Zone 6, Gonubie, Parkside and Beacon Bay.
Abader said: “In the Umasizakhe area, seven households were affected by roof damage. Our disaster management officials, assisted by the Sarah Baartman district municipality disaster management team, and electricians, assessed the damaged, and have commenced with clean-up operations.
“All affected areas had power restored by this morning [Friday], but individual households, still affected, are now being attended to.”