General News

Knysna residents flee for their lives

Knysa residents from the Western Cape are evacuated from their homes to safer places due to the strong fires which are fueled by storm winds through the province’s coastal town since Thursday night.

There have been more than 2 000 fires in the Western Cape over the past two months. Picture: Courtney Africa

Close to 10 000 inhabitants were rescued from their homes in Knysna, leaving the place disastrous and uncontrollable.

James-Brent Styan, spokesperson for the provincial local governance explains that “The fire in Knysna is the largest and most destructive fire in a built up area in the Western Cape in recent memory with thousands displaced. It comes on the back of the worst storm seen in the Western Cape in at least thirty years.”

Up to eight people were reported to have lost their lives from the powerful storm that impacted Cape Town and went through to Knysna.

Emergency Medical Care evacuated the suburbs of Brenton‚ Belvedere‚ Welbedacht‚ Nania‚ Eastford‚ Green Pastures and Knysna Heights.

Foods were supplied to drop-off points to fight famine to the affected ones.

“Reports of some residents refusing to leave their properties are coming in. We would request that if emergency services make a recommendation for evacuation that members of the public adhere to the request‚ for their own safety‚” he said. At this stage‚, he added‚ there was no call for a mass evacuation of the entire town.

In Rheenendalhad outside Knysna, a family of three including parents and a kid were reported dead from the fire.

Eleanore Bouw-Spies, the town’s mayor said: “These are the worst fires I have seen in the 45 years I’ve lived in Knysna.”

Disaster Management firefighters were deployed in numbers to intrude and are believed they will play an important role in preventing the fires.

Charlotte Powell, City of Cape Town disaster management spokesman said more than 800 families were homeless on Wednesday due to the storm: 362 from the emergency area built for Imizamo Yethu; 74 from Disa Park and 264 from Madiba Square‚ both in Hout Bay; and 97 due to flooding in Macassar Village.

Power was cut in most places due to the fire which stroke up through the province.

Many people from the affected areas fled their homes and relocated to another place and much important building with useful archives was also damaged by the fires.





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