- High tide surges caused damages in parts of the Western and Eastern Cape on Saturday.
- Videos showing massive waves lifting stationary vehicles in Gordon’s Bay circulated on social media.
- The National Sea Rescue Institute has cautioned residents to be on alert.
Storm surges wreaked havoc across a number of coastal communities in the Eastern and Western Cape, sweeping away cars and flooding nearby homes and businesses.
On Saturday, scores of videos and pictures flooded social media, showing massive waves lifting stationary vehicles in Gordon’s Bay, Stilbaai, Mossel Bay, and Three Anchor Bay in Cape Town. In the Eastern Cape, Mangolds Pool Resort experienced its fair share of damages.
Disaster management teams in Cape Town spent the better part of Saturday assessing various areas affected by the surges.
City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management Centre spokesperson Sonica Lategan said they received reports of rough seas in the Gordon’s Bay area.
“Our disaster management officials are currently out to do assessments,” said Lategan.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has asked residents in both provinces to take care as heavy sea swells and gale-force winds battered parts of the coastline.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said various law enforcement agencies were deployed to Bikini Beach, Gordon’s Bay, where “a number of vehicles were threatened” by the spring high tide.
“No injuries [were] reported. We are appealing to the public to be cautious around the coastland and in inland rivers, lakes and dams during storm conditions and strong winds,” said Lambinon.
High swells caused havoc in areas within the Hessequa Municipality.
A number of areas were damaged.
High waves in Mossel Bay wrecked havoc in parts of the area.
He said there were eyewitness reports of a teenager caught in rip currents on a bodyboard, but he managed to get safely out of the water.
“At Three Anchor Bay, an elderly man was caught in rip currents. We believe he rescued himself. The man was transported to hospital in a stable condition, suffering hypothermia. He is expected to make a full recovery,” said Lambinon.
In Gqeberha, emergency services attended Mangolds Pool Resort on Saturday afternoon, where the spring high tide threatened several caravans and structures.
“A number of people were safely evacuated. One dog, one bird, two ladies, two children, [and] two males [were] evacuated out of their caravans and taken to the gatehouse. No injuries were reported,” said Lambinon.
Diners who were unwinding at the popular Brass Bell Restaurant in Kalk Bay had the “shock of their lives” when a massive wave crashed through the restaurant’s window, soaking them.
“The waves were massive. The place is flooded, and we still have people inside. I think everyone was shaken and mesmerised that the waves did this,” restaurant manager Chan Eddie told News24.
The popular Brass Bell Restaurant in Kalk Bay was also hit by a massive wave that crashed through the restaurant’s window, soaking some customers.
She said the high tide kicked in around 14:00, causing the waves to hit the restaurant repeatedly.
“The restaurant is still open to the public. There will, however, be a delay in serving our customers as we try and clear the water inside. Those waves were hectic.
“Some people decided to leave the restaurant, which was understandable,” Eddie said.
Meanwhile, Mossel Bay Municipality’s spokesperson Cornelle Carstens said waves of up to seven metres were recorded, with gale force winds of 60-70kilometres per hour.
“Numerous beaches and municipal infrastructure have been affected by the storm surge this afternoon during high tide. The public is urged to stay clear from areas that could be affected as this is not a normal high tide with a storm surge,” said Carstens.
Some beaches in Mossel Bay have been closed to the public due to damage caused by high tides.
Mossel Bay Municipality spokesperson Cornelle Carstens said waves of up to seven metres were recorded.
A vehicle was also damaged.
Beach access to Second Beach, Dana Bay, has been washed away and is barred from use by the public.
“Access for First and Second Beach Dana Bay is closed to the public. Access to Glentana beach has been closed to the public while the Point has been re-opened,” said Carstens.
The municipality said members of the public are advised to stay clear of areas affected by the storm surge. Other beaches may also pose a risk to the public.
“A further damage risk assessment will be done from first light tomorrow, 17 September, and continue throughout the day. Further action, that may include but not be limited to the closure of beaches, will be taken once the damage risk assessment has been done,” said Carstens.
The municipality said private infrastructure has also been damaged.
We previously reported rain, wind and snow would lash the Western Cape as a cold front made landfall on Friday.
The cold front would likely cause widespread showers and rain, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) said.