Extreme winds and rainfall wreak havoc across South African coast, killing at least 1

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Storms with heavy rain and strong winds battering South Africa’s coastal province of Western Cape, which includes Cape Town, have left at least one person dead, officials said on Monday.

The severe weather led to the closure of schools and highways mainly in the Cape Winelands, Overberg and West Coast regions where damage to houses, roads and public infrastructure was reported. Officials remained on high alert for more extreme weather on Monday.

The one person who died was a security officer who was patrolling on a bike when a tree that was uprooted by heavy winds fell on him, officials said.

Heavy winds also fanned wildfires in the Glencairne area in Cape Town, where at least eight houses were gutted, according to a local representative.

By Monday afternoon, some parts of the city of Cape Town were without electricity because of power outages. Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said that the provincial government deployed emergency services.

“We appeal to everyone to please exercise extreme caution and avoid unnecessary travel,” he said, adding that at least 26 schools had suffered weather-related damages across the province.

The South African Weather Services issued a high warning for the Western Cape area, also citing extreme conditions and possible flooding in other parts of the country including the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal and the populous province of Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg.

KwaZulu-Natal has become prone to flooding that has resulted in deaths and major damage to houses and roads.

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