June 4, 2013 – SOUTH AFRICA – Bitter cold conditions, heavy rains and hail have wreaked havoc in Cape Town, South Africa, with a new cold front set to arrive on Monday. The mountains close by have seen heavy snowfall. Wilfred Solomons-Johannes of Cape Town Disaster Management told the media that 2,266 people have been affected by floods on the Cape Flats. Around 550 houses have been damaged in Bishop Lavis, Guguletu, Hout Bay, Khayelitsha, Philippi and Strand. in Athlone, Elsies River, Langa and Parow Valley, roofs were blown off houses. Cape Town mayor, Patricia De Lille called for “extraordinary emergency arrangements.” Roads have been blocked by rockfalls including Franschhoek Pass where a road engineer was killed on Sunday night. As they were clearing the road, another rock fall happened. One other person was slightly injured and the road will remain closed for the time being. Chapman’s Peak has been closed due to mud slides. According to the South African Weather Service, more snow is forecast on mountains in the Southern Cape and there will be biting cold for the remainder of the week. Cape Town, the Boland and the Cape Winelands were hit by surprise hail and thunderstorms on Sunday, leaving Cape Town city center streets littered with hail, strongly resembling snow. Sutherland saw heavy snowfall over the weekend and the pass into the town was closed. Jurg Wagener told News24, “No one can get into or out of the town and the snowflakes are still falling. It is lying quite thick here.” Matroosberg, between Ceres and De Doorns, saw about a meter of snow, as did the Hex River Mountains close by. Heavy rain can be expected in the province on Monday with another cold front still on its way. –Digital Journal
contribution Steve B.