In an extraordinary and devastating turn of events, South Africa’s southern and southeastern coastal areas were struck by massive waves accompanied by ferocious winds over the weekend, resulting in one tragic fatality, multiple injuries, and extensive property damage, according to reports from local media outlets on Monday.
Tragically, the calamity claimed the life of an elderly woman, while a man sustained injuries during the onset of the spring tide, which began its relentless assault on Saturday. The incident unfolded, as waves breached a car park, sweeping the unfortunate victim off her feet. Craig Lambinon, spokesperson for the National Sea Rescue Institute, lamented the loss, stating, “Our understanding is that she was swept off her feet by a wave that penetrated the car park, and she sadly passed away in what appears to be a weather-related incident.” Additionally, Lambinon noted that another individual was injured in the chaos and subsequently transported to a hospital. He emphasized the widespread damage inflicted upon the coastline, with countless restaurants, residences, and vehicles bearing the brunt of the tempest’s fury.
Images and videos of towering waves engulfing parked cars in Gordon’s Bay, just beyond the legislative capital of Cape Town, and causing havoc to seaside dining establishments, have proliferated on social media since the onset of the calamity.
Furthermore, in a separate and harrowing incident, at least seven individuals sustained injuries on the South Coast of the KwaZulu-Natal province when a colossal wave crashed into a beachfront restaurant filled with patrons on a tranquil Sunday afternoon, as reported by local media.
The National Meteorological Institute of South Africa, in response to the unprecedented situation, issued an urgent warning that extends across the country’s expansive 3,000-kilometer coastline. Emergency services have issued a plea for utmost caution, and several beaches in the affected regions have been swiftly closed to the public.
As South Africa grapples with the aftermath of this remarkable coastal disturbance, the nation mourns the loss of life and extends its support to those injured and affected by the calamity. The resilience and unity of the communities along the coast will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the recovery efforts to rebuild what has been disrupted by the relentless forces of nature.