Tuesday, November 18, 2008

South Africa's Cape crippled by flood

AllAfrica.com via the Cape Argus (South Africa): The Cape was all but cut off from the rest of South Africa on Friday morning after flooding closed the N1 and a number of other key routes, leaving the N2 as the only remaining artery linking it to the country's economic heart, Gauteng. …Towns in the area have been left without electricity and hundreds of people are stranded, with many rescue operations under way.

The police's Danie de Bruin explained that the two alternate routes, via Montagu and Ceres, were also closed due to flooding. "So currently there's no way out. They're stuck," he said at 8am.

…Late on Thursday afternoon, the Bokkeveld dam was in danger of crumbling under the pressure. The sluice was opened to release the pressure, causing an even greater deluge of water to run through the town, situated just off the N1, about 40km after Worcester. The water engulfed part of the N1 at the Donkies River bridge in less than three hours, cutting off the highway. Hundreds of trucks, taxis and other vehicles have been trapped on the road since 11pm.

Premier Lynne Brown was expected to arrive by helicopter in Touws River this morning to assess the extent of the damage….

Kalk Bay Harbour, Cape Town. Shot by Andrew massyn, who has generously released the image into the public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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