Thousands displaced by Cape floods

Thousands of people have been displaced by flooding in Cape Town, the city said on Monday as the South African Weather Service predicted more rain.

About 16 000 people and 3 500 structures had been affected, most of them in low-lying areas of the Cape Flats, it said in a statement.

About 3 000 people were being housed in community halls; the rest were experiencing “extreme discomfort”.

Disaster management response teams were continuing mopping-up operations, and relief, including food and blankets, was being provided by a range of NGOs.

Three community halls and a sports complex had been opened to flooding victims.

The city’s storm-water staff was “pumping out” stagnant water at various informal settlements to reduce health risks.

The weather service had indicated that the heavy rain would persist until Wednesday evening.

“The preparedness and response strategy of the City of Cape Town has been stepped up and the disaster response teams are on full alert,” the statement said.

No major rain-related problems had been experienced on the main highways.

It said residents could reduce their vulnerability to flooding by, among other things, raising the floor level of their homes to be higher than the land outside, and moving to higher ground if they stayed in a flood-prone area.—Sapa

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