Western Cape rains claim nine lives

14 February 2018 - 08:57 By Nashira Davids
Heavy rains wreaked havoc in the Western Cape.
Heavy rains wreaked havoc in the Western Cape.
Image: Search SA ‏via Twitter

The downpour in the Western Cape on Tuesday came as a relief to many residents grappling with the severe drought. But the rain also claimed the lives of nine people around midnight.

Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa told TimesLIVE that there was flooding in parts of the Overberg region.

"A driver and his four female passengers ... were confronted with a mass of water all of a sudden. They got out of the vehicle and were washed away. All five drowned‚'' Africa said.

Around the same time in the Montagu area four people in one vehicle drove across a bridge and met a similar fate.

Africa expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased and urged motorists to take care on the roads.

In 2012 heavy rains wreaked havoc in the province. At the time homes were flooded‚ roofs were blown off and Eskom transformers were damaged by lightning. A Western Cape Emergency Medical Services worker from the town of Montagu was driving an ambulance to fetch patients in Ashton. It is believed that she was swept away by the Cogmanskloof River. Her body was never found. 

Residents took to social media to celebrate the rain after months of extreme water restrictions.