UPDATE: More strong winds could reignite #KnysnaFires

2017-06-09 12:55 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - The outlook for firefighters who continue to battle with blazes along the Garden Route and guard against flare-ups, does not look good according to SA Weather Service, as we head into the weekend.

One firefighter is among the 10 people that have lost their lives in the storm that has wrecked havoc across the Western and Eastern Cape. See News24's coverageLIVE: #KnysnaFire contained, firefighter dies

SA Weather Service spokesperson Garth Sampson says, "There is some bad news for our weary firefighters."

Sampson says that another cold front is approaching the region, and ahead of the cold front, strong north-westerly winds are expected over the Eastern Cape on Saturday 10 June.

SEE: UPDATE: Dire forecast of strong winds and no rain for fire-ravaged Garden Route

"Considering the current fires in the Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan municipality, the public must be aware that fires could be reignited by the strong winds tomorrow [Saturday 10 June]. Thus conditions are favourable for the development of runaway fires."

"Gusts of up to 40-45 knots (80-90 km/h) are possible in places. These winds will again be warm Berg winds and are expected to be strongest between 11 am and 5 pm on Saturday 10 June," adds Sampson.

"The winds are expected to remain north-westerly through Saturday night in Port Elizabeth, but are expected to change to a strong south-westerly on Sunday 11 June as the cold front moves through."

SEE: Weather Update: Harsh conditions across most of SA with fire, drought and snow

Sampson says that "no rainfall is expected through Saturday and Sunday between Patensie and Port Elizabeth" and similar conditions are expected along the Garden Route.

Temperatures in the area for Saturday 10 June:

Port Elizabeth: 25°C

Uitenhage: 26°C

Patensie: 26°C

Plettenberg Bay: 22°C

Joubertina: 20°C


Garden Route is being labelled a disaster zone

The damage done to Garden Route is being labelled a disaster zone in South Africa, leaving many homeless and shaken. There is a nation-wide plea to provide aid. 

The Western Cape government says "About 3 000 to 4 000 people remain displaced in the Eden district. Some areas that were evacuated have been declared safe and people from those areas have been allowed to return home."

SEE: #KnysnaFire: Urgent call for support of victims

Knysna Municipality also warned the public to be aware of scam artists requesting relief donations. 

With about 80% of the fire line of the wildfires that have spread throughout the Garden Route contained, and some areas declared safe, officials and residents are focusing on mop-up operations and helping affected people.

Knysna Municipality says that water shortages continue:

What to read next on Traveller24:

Cape Town Water Crisis: It will at least take three rainfalls to make a real difference

#CapeTownStorm: Tips for dealing with extreme weather

UPDATE: Flights diverted, trains delayed due to #CapeTownStorm