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The severe cold front expected to make landfall over South Africa on Thursday afternoon has already hit parts of the Western Cape

Earlier this week, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) said that a well-developed cold front was approaching the country from the west, and would make landfall on Thursday afternoon.

“Ahead of the cold front, strong to gale force north-westerly winds of 60-74km/h, with gusts up to 100km/h, are expected in places across the provincial interior into the evening,” said SAWS.

“The gale-force winds are also expected along the maritime areas of the south-western Cape coast between Saldanha Bay and Cape Agulhas on Thursday, spreading to Alexander Bay by late evening.”

According to the South African Weather Service, South Africans should take note of the following alerts and impacts:

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  • Gale force winds along the coast may result in damage to coastal infrastructure and beach erosion. Disruption to Port and small harbour activities can be expected.
  • Gale force winds over the interior could lead to damage of formal and informal settlements
  • Strong north-westerly winds over much of the southern and central interior of the country will lead to a widespread risk of runaway fires during Thursday and Friday. Dry air, combined with abundant late winter grassland fuel is likely to exacerbate this seasonal late winter risk.
  • Heavy rain is likely to lead to localised flooding of roads, formal and informal settlements which may lead to damage of property and displacement of vulnerable communities. Localised traffic disruptions are highly likely, together with the associated risk of vehicular accidents. Vulnerable areas are likely to experience disruption to essential services.
  • Snowfall, albeit mostly of a light nature, may result in localised traffic disruption due to icy roads and railway lines at higher elevations. Some minor inaccessibility could occur for drinking water to rural areas.

Strong winds, torrential rains and disruptive snowfalls are expected to hit the high ground of the Cape Winelands by Friday.

The Western Cape’s MEC for local government, environmental affairs and development planning, Anton Bredell, urged members of the public to limit the amount of time spent outdoors over the next few days.

“It is going to get very cold and very wet. We have also been alerted to the fact that the national electricity grid is under extreme pressure with load shedding a possibility at this stage,” Bredell said.

He further urged residents to lower their electricity consumption, and to take into consideration small animals and livestock that may be exposed to the elements.

The City of Cape Town’s spokesperson for disaster risk management, Charlotte Powell, said that no major incidents had been reported.

There had, however, been localised flooding of roadways. No road closures were implemented but motorists should be cautious on the road, said Powell.

In case of emergencies, residents are urged to contact the city’s emergency communication centre.

Other emergency numbers include:

  • Cape Winelands Municipality 021 888 5837
  • Eden District: 044 805 5071
  • Central Karoo: 023 449 8000
  • West Coast:                               022 433 8700
  • Overberg: 028 425 1690
  • City of Cape Town: 107 landline or 021 480 7700
South Africa Cape Town 11 June 2020 Flooded in Zwezwe Informal Settlement in Khayelitsha. All their belongings have been damaged as water continues to flood inside their homes due to heavy rains. Heavy rainfall has graced many areas in Khayelitsha and the rest of the province. The rest of the week is expected to bring even more rain, with gale force winds and chilly temperatures. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency/ANA
South Africa Cape Town 10 June 2020 Cars navigate their way through flooded Klipfontein road near Gugulethu, Western Cape in for three days of cold weather, heavy rain and gale force winds. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency/ANA

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Author: ANA Newswire

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