Storms take out power across the Central Karroo

Provincial govt rallies emergency support for sewage, hospital and water systems, as Laingsburg, Prince Albert, Ladismith, Napier and nearby towns go dark





Feb 7, 2024

Storms take out power across the Central Karroo

Severe weather in the Western Cape over the weekend led to the collapse of seven powerline structures, causing widespread outages in parts of the province.

Eskom, South Africa's electricity utility, reported multiple powerline failures due to thunderstorms, particularly impacting the Laingsburg/Touwsrivier 132kV power lines. The damage has affected several Western Cape towns, with Eskom warning of potential extended periods of power interruptions as restoration efforts continue.

The provincial government has mobilized relief efforts for affected areas, with Local Government, Environmental Affairs, and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell emphasizing the need for coordinated support. Critical functions such as water, sewage, hospitals, and schools are being prioritized, given the uncertainty surrounding power restoration timelines.

Adding to the challenge is the forecasted heatwave conditions in the Central and Klein Karoo regions, along with the possibility of isolated thunderstorms. This exacerbates the impact of electricity outages, as cold chains and water supply become even more critical during extreme heat.

Affected towns include Leeu-Gamka, Merweville, Laingsburg, Sutherland, Prince Albert, Ladismith, and Napier, as well as surrounding rural farming communities. Relief efforts may include trucked-in water, bottled water distribution, and provision of generators for essential services.

Bredell assured affected communities of ongoing communication and support as information becomes available, underscoring the importance of swift and effective response measures amid challenging weather conditions.

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