On Saturday, high tides swept through the area during the spring tides, resulting in a 93-year-old woman dying in Wilderness and at least eight properties being damaged along the Bikini Beach area of Gordon’s Bay.
A photo of the spring tide that hit Gordons Bay, Cape Town on Saturday, 17 September 2023. Picture: Twitter/@GordonsBay_WP
CAPE TOWN – Communities living near the coastline in the Western Cape and neighbouring Eastern Cape were still reeling from the effects of the high tides that swept through the area on Saturday.
A 93-year-old woman died during the storm, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon confirmed on Sunday.
It is understood that she was swept off her feet by waves that penetrated a car park in Wilderness, causing the cars to be swept away with the storm surge.
“Condolences are conveyed to the family, and we are gaining more information as the day progresses,” said Lambinon.
Scores of properties were also damaged by the spring tide, due to its excessive wave movements and strong winds.
The City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management Centre said initial assessments found damage to eight properties in the Gordons Bay Bikini Beach area.
The centre added on Sunday that the city’s Department of Solid Waste began with clean-up operations along the beach, while traffic services and law enforcement were assisting with road closures.
Cape Town – Gordon’s Bay: Freak waves around the Cape coastline pic.twitter.com/TEqZkvOfIn
‘ TrafficSA (@TrafficSA) September 16, 2023
Massive springtide hits the Western Cape Province of South Africa. See images of Harold’s Bay, Gordon’s Bay (Bikini Beach), Blouberg (snow), Gordons Bay harbour.
Please take care. Stay safe. pic.twitter.com/WNuHAaEHXs
‘ Gordons Bay ⚓️ Gordonsbaai Holiday Homes (@GordonsBay_WP) September 16, 2023
Though the South African Weather Services (Saws) issued an advisory warning for continued rough and choppy seas, which should subside by Sunday evening, Mayco member of Safety and Security in the City of Cape Town JP Smith said no significant emergency was identified on Sunday.
“The Disaster Management Centre is liaising with Saws, but no further warnings are expected to be present. Disaster management is assessing the areas affected to establish the need for emergency relief efforts.”
However, Lambino emphasised the public needed to monitor the alerts by Saws.
“Be cautious – don’t take unnecessary risks or put yourself in unnecessary danger.”
Meanwhile, additional assessments were conducted by the centre, finding some damage to the Brass Bell restaurant in Cape Town.
The centre said that the damage included damage to some seating areas and broken windows, and one person sustained minor injuries.
The restaurant is currently partially closed to the public.