DEATH TOLL IN CAPE TOWN STORM RISES TO EIGHT

CAPE TOWN, June 8 (NNN-SABC) -- The death toll in the huge storm which is battering Cape Town and other parts of Western Cape Province has risen to at least eight after four people were reported killed when a house caught fire on Simons Vlei Farm near Paarl and three people were killed in a fire in Rheenendal which spread after being fanned by the gale force winds.

In Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats, a 60-year-old man died when an informal dwelling he was in collapsed on him.

About 1000 people have been displaced following heavy flooding in informal settlements near Hout Bay. Roofs were also blown off in the Strand area, Kalkfontein, Delft, Mfuleni and Mandalay.

Roof sheets had been blown off the Cavendish Square shopping mall, leading to the closure of surrounding roads.

The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Local Government in the province, James-Brent Styan, said Wednesday that they would continue to monitor the situation. We had hoped it wouldn't come to this, we always do what we can to prevent this. So we continue to monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Disaster Management and Fire Brigade Services chiefS Colin Deiner, has warned people in the province not to under-estimate warnings about the severe storm which hit the province.

Authorities have warned of possible flooding and gale-force winds. Disruptive snowfalls and heavy rainfall leading to localised flooding has hit the Cape Metropole, Cape Winelands and Overberg areas of the province since Tuesday night.

Schools and institutions of higher learning were closed Wednesday as the storm was expected to intensify during the course of the day.

Trees and electrical poles have been uprooted while some shacks have been destroyed. High waves are expected along the West Coast on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Thursday, the cold front will be moving across the central interior to areas such as Free State Province, the southern parts of KwaZulu-Natal Province and North West Province and is expected to reach Gauteng Province by late afternoon on Thursday with temperatures to start dropping significantly.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK