Eight killed as storms & wild fires rage in South Africa

Knysna fire 2

Residents of Plettenberg Bay and Knysna in South Africa's Western Cape were evacuated from their homes following severe fires that ripped through several areas on June 7 and 8.

Hundreds of homes in Knysna, a town of 77,000 people located on the tourist Garden Route 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of Cape Town, have been destroyed by multiple fires triggered by the worst storm to hit the area in 30 years. At least eight people were killed. He said there was little hope of stopping the fire and officials would just continue evacuating all those in its path.

Eleanore Bouw-Spies, Knysna's mayor, described the fires as the worst in decades.

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The British consul-general in Cape Town, Edward Roman, said a team had been sent to the area to "monitor the situation" and to provide assistance to British nationals who live in the area.

"We'll have strong winds here in the Eastern Cape, but nothing to write home about", said Sampson.

The storm forced President Jacob Zuma, who was in Cape Town, to cancel a speech to an worldwide media conference in Durban, a city on the Indian Ocean coastline, his office said.

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President Jacob Zuma had cancelled a trip to Cape Town to open the World News Media Congress because it was not possible to fly there.

The ferocious storm killed eight people as it pummelled South Africa's west coast forcing the closure of the harbour.

While Friday is expected to be dry, more rain is forecast for Cape Town over the next six days, according to the South African Weather Service.

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Cape Town is also experiencing widespread power outages, which the city says are being assessed and attended to. On Wednesday, authorities urged residents to capture rain from the storm in containers for flushing toilets and other needs.

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