The City of Cape Town's major storms and flooding plan, already in full swing, has been stepped up. This follows extensive winter flooding which, although not the worst experienced, has affected the most residents ever.
The latest unofficial estimates indicate that over 30 000 people living in more than 8 000 shacks across the Cape Town metropolitan area may have been affected in different ways. Many of the City's 226 informal settlement areas as well as other suburbs have borne the brunt of flooding.
The City Manager of Cape Town, Achmat Ebrahim, today called emergency meetings with his top management and the Disaster Coordinating Team consisting of all major City service departments. The meeting received situation reports on all major metropolitan areas, assessed the situation and decided on additional emergency measures. Follow-up meetings will be held.
Various specialist City departments determined what actions are needed where. Those actions are being implemented and the effect monitored. Steps include clearing of blockages in storm water and sewage systems, additional cleansing operations to stop debris blocking run-off systems, identifying areas at greatest risk, using all available staff and outside contractors where needed.
The health situation and risk are being monitored by the City's Health Department. Residents and especially children should avoid contact with standing or flood water. Weather forecasts predict that rain will subside by tomorrow (Sunday) night, followed by a clear three days, with more rain expected from Wednesday.
Emergency and social services together with non-government organisations are working around the clock to provide shelter, food and blankets. Continuous rain over the past days has, however, saturated the ground causing the groundwater level in several parts of the Cape Flats to rise. This causes run-off and flooding.
The City's Disaster Operations Centre is receiving many calls relating to the flooding. Residents are therefore requested not to phone the Centre, but to use the specific numbers for service delivery problems listed below:
- Electricity faults in Eskom area: 0860 037 566
- Electricity faults in areas supplied by City of Cape Town: 0860 125 001
- Traffic signals not working: 0860 001 948
- Metro Police Control Room: 021 596 1999
- Transport, roads and storm water: 021 957 4700
- Water Services: 0860 103 054
- Life threatening emergencies: 107 or 021 480 7700 (from a cell phone)
28 JULY 2007
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400-2201
CELL: 084 220 0074
CELL: 082 465 4965