Fires engulf scenic town in South Africa; 10000 evacuated

Fires engulf scenic town in South Africa; 10000 evacuated

BBC weather forecaster Philip Avery warns that Wednesday could bring in excess of 50mm of rain to some western areas of South Africa, accompanied by winds of 60-90km/h. "The department expects to receive further reports as schools mop up on Thursday", the department said in a statement.

According to The Herald, the Knysna Provincial Hospital caught fire and more than 50 houses burnt down.

The storm came just a week after the Western Cape was declared a disaster zone because of a severe drought.

De Kock said this was the most snow the Lodge had received in the past three years.

Flames engulfed dozens of homes in Knysna and led to the closures of some stretches of a coastal highway.

However, experts believe the blaze was caused by strong winds caused by the ongoing storm in Cape Town, 500 kilometers west. Many had already been displaced in March when their homes burned down due to a period of prolonged drought.

"Also the rain, that's why I moved here with my child, ".

Local media have dubbed it "the mother of all storms".

The City of Cape Town has launched a donation campaign for those in need of help.

The storm also forced President Jacob Zuma, who was in the city, to cancel a scheduled speech at an global media conference in Durban, a city on the Indian Ocean coastline, his office said.

Three people died in fires at Rheenendal, a village outside Knysna, while the body of a three-year-old was found in the town's Welbedacht area.

Residents are banned from using potable water to irrigate gardens, wash cars and fill up swimming pools, with the average level of usable water in surrounding dams having dropped to less than 10 percent. Other areas recorded as much as 131 millimeters of rain.

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