Home South African Cape of storms: Rain, ‘tornadoes’ wreak havoc in Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain

Cape of storms: Rain, ‘tornadoes’ wreak havoc in Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain

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Nearly 5,000 people have been affected by the severe weather conditions over the weekend in Khayelitsha, where over 1,000 shacks have been destroyed.

Homes were flattened in Endlovini. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, Independent Newspapers

NEARLY 5,000 people have been affected by the severe weather conditions over the weekend in Khayelitsha, where over 1,000 shacks have been destroyed.

Meanwhile, what local residents described as a “tornado” also tore through Tafelsig in Mitchells Plain on Thursday, damaging 13 homes.

on Sunday, residents stood knee deep in water in wards 99 and 96 in Khayelitsha.

But their plight is far from over as heavy rain and gale force winds have been predicted for the rest of the week.

Nombulelo Bonani’s home was flooded. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, Independent Newspapers

Nombulelo Bonani, 59, from Endlovini said she woke up with her feet in water at around 4am on Sunday.

She shared: “The water was reaching below the knee. I have been living here since 2010 and this is not the first time we’ve had flooding but it is the first time it’s this high.

“My fridge is damaged and our clothes and furniture are wet.”

Further down the dirt road, residents were rebuilding their structures following a ‘tornado’ on Thursday evening.

A man carries his daughter while walking in Makhaza. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, Independent Newspapers

Salim Omar, 45, described the horrific experience as a disaster as he nailed a small shack together for himself, his wife and his son to sleep in.

Salim said: “It feels like some sort of punishment. We were in the house and just heard the roofs were flying followed by a big boom and lightning.

“Nobody knew what was happening but we were inside the house when the roof just flew off. I am thankful nobody got hurt.”

In Lost City, a “powerful, twirling wind” tore off roofs from houses and uprooted light poles, scattering trash all over the place.

Kenan Benjamin got the fright of his life when he saw a “tornado” sweep through his neighbourhood. Picture: Byron Lukas

Keenan Benjamin, 26, from Susan Street said he got the fright of his life when he saw a “tornado” sweep through his area just before 10pm.

He said: “It was a very strong wind, I was standing here smoking a cigarette and I saw this wind coming, and it was already carrying metal sheets.”

“It felt like the ground was tearing apart while the storm came over our roofs.”

The side of Benjamin’s house has a crack running through it and his front carport was badly damaged, with the metal roof sheets ending up on his neighbour’s property.

The Disaster Risk Management Centre (DRMC) confirmed that 25 households and 113 people in Tafelsig were impacted by strong gusts.

A number of homes sustained damage in Tafelsig. Picture: Supplied

Spokesperson Charlotte Powell said the DRMC cannot be drawn into claims of a tornado, while the South African Weather Service (SAWS) said it will need photographic, video evidence or witnesses, for confirmation.

The Gift of the Givers has been handing out humanitarian relief and food in the affected areas.

Western Cape Project Manager Ali Sablay says close to 10,000 people have already been affected by the bad weather, with the numbers expected to rise during the week.

He said: “It is going to be a busy few days for the Gift of The Givers teams, but we have pulled in additional assistance in terms of stocks from our different warehouses around the country.”

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