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Devastating Surprising Wave Strikes, Claims Life of an Elderly Woman in South Cape

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In an unfortunate turn of conditions on Saturday, a sudden and fierce wave struck a car park in Leentjiesklip, George in the southern Cape, causing the unfortunate demise of a 93-year-old woman. According to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), the woman was swept away by the superior force of the wave. The stormy weather reportedly also injured a man who has since been transported to hospital.

The surge further resulted in cars within the parking lot being swept up in the wave. Craig Lambinon, an NSRI spokesperson, confirmed the incidents and warned of persisting high and rough waves, with a peak expected between 3 pm to 6 pm on Sunday. Lambinon advised complete avoidance of the coastline during the heightened storm surge period, calling for the public's hand in prioritizing safety first.

South African Weather Service's meteorologist Lelo Kleinbooi explained the storm surge as an abnormal accumulation of water against the coastline that can result in coastal flooding. According to Kleinbooi, the surge occurs due to an intense low-pressure system passing, in this instance, an intense cold front. The confluence of strong winds and a new or full moon can significantly enhance the wave heights, especially during high tide.

Gordon's Bay, Three Anchor Bay, Sandy Bay, and Still Bay were among the affected areas within the Western Cape. Videos circulated on social media depict incredible heights of waves causing significant damage, dislodging vehicles, and impacting coastal establishments.

Readers are urged to take heed of the NSRI's caution and keep a safe distance from the coastline as the storm surge persists.

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