Huge wave in southern Cape kills woman
An elderly woman died after a huge wave hit a parking area in Leentjiesklip in George in the southern Cape on Saturday when stormy weather battered the coastline.
“A 93-year-old female has sadly passed away. Our understanding is that she was swept off her feet by a wave that penetrated a car park, causing cars to be swept with that wave,” said National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon.
A man was also injured and taken to hospital, Lambinon said.
The waves will start subsiding at 4m to 5.5m on Monday morning and to below 4m from late afternoon on MondayLelo Kleinbooi, meteorologist
An unidentified body was washed up in Kouga in the Eastern Cape at the weekend. In a statement on Sunday morning, the municipality said a body had washed up on the beach at Aston Bay and rescuers were investigating the possibility of more fatalities.
Residents have been warned not to use the Swart River causeway linking Aston Bay and Paradise Beach, in vehicles or on foot, despite the water subsiding.
SA Weather Service meteorologist Lelo Kleinbooi said the storm surge was an abnormal volume of water accumulating against the coastline, manifesting as a raised sea level which could result in coastal flooding.
“The waves will start subsiding at 4m to 5.5m on Monday morning and to below 4m from late afternoon,” Kleinbooi said.
“This happens when you have a deep or intense low-pressure system passing through, and in our case an intense cold front which passed south of the country. This results in a tight pressure gradient which causes strong winds that enhance the sea state. Additionally, if you have a new or full moon with this, you will have a good chance of a storm surge as expected waves will be enhanced even further during high tide.”
Kleinbooi said the possible impacts of a storm surge include damage to coastal infrastructure; potential modification of beaches and dunes, including beach erosion; vessels at sea taking on water and potentially capsizing; and a general disruption of beachfront activities.
In the Western Cape, Gordon’s Bay, Three Anchor Bay, Sandy Bay and Still Bay were affected by huge waves.
In Table Bay in Cape Town a man was rushed to hospital due to hypothermia but is expected to make a full recovery. Videos circulating on social media show waves lifting cars and hitting diners in a restaurant in Kalk Bay.
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