South Africa : West coast storm kills 8, causes chaos

Posted June 09, 2017

According to reports, the fire in Knysna is the largest and most destructive fire in a built up area in the Western Cape.

According to the newspaper, people in the Whale Rock and Longships areas, near Robberg, were being evacuated.

Waves of foam and seawater crash into Three Anchor Bay in Cape Town on June 7, 2017, as an intense storm hits South Africa's west coast.

The severe weather, dubbed "the cape storm" and thought to be one of the worst for 30 years, has left dozens of people in shantytowns around Cape Town homeless - as well as forcing schools and universities to close. Knysna fire chief Clinton Manual said there was little hope of stopping the fire and officials would continue evacuating all those in its path.

More news: Third London Bridge attacker named

Strong winds which fanned the runaway flames had prevented any aerial assistance to the ground teams who have been working to contain the fires since Wednesday.

South African Department of Defense Spokesman Brigadier General Masi Mgobhozi said two army helicopters are on standby in Cape Town to help with evacuations from homes if needed.

The town mayor, Eleanore Bouw-Spies, described the fires as the worst in decades.

The company said its engineers were now on site in Cape Town to recharge backup batteries that power the affected sites.

More news: Apple to showcase new features for its gadgets

President Jacob Zuma was forced to cancel a speech in the eastern city of Durban Wednesday, because the extreme weather conditions made it impossible for him to fly out of Cape Town, his office said.

MTN engineers and support partners worked throughout the night to restore connectivity, while engineers were on site in Cape Town to recharge the backup batteries that power affected sites.

At least four people have been killed as wildfires continued to rage in Knysna, about 600 kilometers east of Cape Town, authorities said on Thursday.

More news: Summerlin girl narrowly misses cut for national spelling bee finals