Thousands evacuated in South Africa as storm fans fires

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At least eight people have been killed in the storms and fires that have been raging in the town and other areas of the Western Cape region.

By mid-morning‚ about 13 houses had already been evacuated just outside Knysna towards Plettenberg Bay.

About 10,000 people have been evacuated from a scenic coastal town in South Africa that has been devastated by fast-moving fires.

Huge waves slam into the promenade during heavy storms in the Sea Point neighborhood of Cape Town, South Africa.

A total of nine deaths in the region have been attributed to the storm.

"We have lost almost 250 structures in Knysna and evacuated between 7,000-8,000 people", Colin Deiner, chief director of the Disaster Management center, told reporters about the resort town of some 77,000.

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The storm had largely abated by Thursday morning, a damage assessment got under way and schools that were closed on Wednesday reopened. "Conditions include strong wind and lots of smoke which makes helicopter use not possible at present", says Styan.

Patients who were evacuated from the provincial hospital in Knysna were being cared for in the squash courts, clubhouse and other facilities of a sports complex, according to the newspaper.

That sentiment was echoed by the town's mayor‚ Eleanore Bouw-Spies, who told Herald Live: "These are the worst fires I have seen in the 45 years I've lived in Knysna". Power cuts were reported across the area.

This is the winter period in the southern hemisphere and Cape Town can expect around 85 millimetres of rain during June.

The drought-stricken Western Cape remains in dire need of rain, but the storms "are definitely not what we need right now as they cause more havoc than solutions", Zuma said.

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