After a strong spring tide wreaked havoc in coastal communities in the Eastern and Western Cape over the weekend, there could be more rough weather with high winds and heavy seas in store, the South African Weather Service warned.
Inland, strong winds and dry conditions saw fires break out around the Pilanesberg National Park in North-West with fire warnings still in place there and for other provinces. The weather service issued another level 4 warning for damaging waves along the Cape coastline until today.
According to the weather service’s meteorologist, Lehlohonolo Thobela, high seas were expected because of the spring tide this weekend.
“Spring tides are termed that because of its force. It’s scientific forces, where the sun and the moon attract each other, especially after a full moon. Then that force happens and it increases the number of waves around the coastal area.
“When that happens in conjunction with the high tides along the south coast of the Western Cape, the west coast of the Western Cape, as well as the coastal areas of the Eastern Cape, that increases the amplitude of the waves as they are higher than normal.”
Thobela said this resulted in the water being pushed out into the coastal area, resulting in flooding. Although a spring tide was not unusual, it normally did not happen with such an impact like this weekend, he said. “But these are conditions that we expect when we have high seas and a spring tide.”
Charlotte Powell, Cape Town’s disaster risk management centre spokesperson, said coastal areas around Gordon’s Bay and Kalk Bay experienced excessive wave movement and strong winds which impacted communities along the coast.
The George municipality said saltwater had flooded the N2 at Touws River near Salina’s in Wilderness, and confirmed that all beaches were closed.
“More high tide surges, predicted to swell up to 2.9m, are forecast,” it warned. The weather service also warned of extreme fire risks after a fire that broke out in the Cabanas at the Sun City resort in Pilanesberg on Saturday.
According to Thobela, the service issued a red alert, warning about possible veld fires. It also said people around Limpopo and Mpumalanga can expect a little drizzle, while Pretoria, Johannesburg, Mahikeng and parts of the north-east areas can expect isolated rain and showers.