Cape Town, South Africa, has been hit by more storms, with flooding and damage forcing 4,500 people to evacuate.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — The South African city of Cape Town and surrounding areas were hit by more storms Thursday, ripping roofs off homes and causing widespread flooding, forcing at least 4,500 people to flee their homes and damaging at least 15,000 buildings, authorities said. It started a week ago.

Multiple cold fronts have battered the southwestern tip of Africa since last weekend, bringing record rainfall and strong winds to some areas. City officials said the bad weather was expected to continue through the weekend and possibly into next week.

The latest front moved in overnight, leaving Cape Town’s Wynberg area devastated by Thursday morning, with strong winds blowing roofs off houses, destroying parts of homes and other buildings and downing electricity poles.

The City of Cape Town said its disaster operations centre worked through the night to respond to calls for help from residents.

By the latest storm on Wednesday night, at least 4,500 people had been evacuated and 15,000 buildings had been damaged in and around Cape Town and across the Western Cape, figures expected to rise.

Cape Town’s Mayor’s Safety and Security Committee member JP Smith said the city and non-governmental organisations had already provided more than 36,000 meals and distributed 6,000 blankets to victims over the past two days.

Many of those who lost their homes lived in poor informal settlements on the outskirts of Cape Town, where metal and wooden shacks are particularly vulnerable to damage from strong winds and flooding.

Schools were closed in Cape Town and the surrounding area, including in the famous wine region of Stellenbosch, where a frigid front moved in from the Atlantic, causing highly unusual snow to pile up on the streets earlier this week.

Cape Town Mayor Jordine Hill-Lewis said three major rivers in the province had burst their banks.

The provincial disaster management agency ordered evacuations for people living in the agricultural areas of Citrusdal and parts of the wine-growing region around Stellenbosch, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) inland from Cape Town, because of flooding.

The provincial government said it was considering releasing controlled amounts of water from some dams as a “precautionary measure” to prevent further damage from dam flooding.

Cape Town and other areas on the southwest coast of South Africa Often affected by cold fronts The winter months in the middle of the year bring heavy rains and strong winds, but it is unusual for multiple fronts to occur simultaneously in a short period of time.


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