Cold, wintry weather kills 4 people in South Africa

South African President, Jacob Zuma

The weather is expected to get worse.

Four people have died in the Western Cape due to severe cold and wet weather since last week Friday.

Collin Deiner, a provincial disaster official, told newsmen on Monday that officials estimated that some 30 000 people had been affected by the weekend’s wintry weather.

“One person died from hypothermia in Robertson on Sunday night while a woman died in Wynberg from exposure to the cold conditions.

“We’re doing a periodic update of what the requirements are and where we should assist in response to these incidents,” Mr. Deiner said.

He said provincial traffic officials reported two more deaths as a result of the cold weather.

Meanwhile, South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned that the province should brace for more bad weather next week.

“We have a strong cold front moving in over the province by this evening. By tomorrow we will experience heavy rains. Together with that, some flooding may occur,’’ Henning Grobler, SAWS spokesperson said.

Flooding and light snowfalls are being experienced in some part of Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces. People living in low lying areas have been asked to exercise caution.

A Non Governmental Organisation, Heaven Night Shelter, said there have been significant increases on number of people seeking shelter from harsh weather.

“We have seen a significant increase. In April we were operating at 93 per cent occupancy. We have 1035 formal beds but we had to deal with 1 489 people which tells you that our formal beds are taken just as are our mattresses have been occupied,” Hassan khan, head of the Haven Night shelter said.

(NAN)

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