Category: <span>Disaster Management</span>

14 December 2022 Impact Based Warning – Level 6 Severe Thunderstorms

Impact Based Warning – L6 Severe Thunderstorms

Please find included the Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape.

Areas impacted from Friday, 16 December until Saturday, 17 December along the Garden Route district, include:
Bitou, George, Hessequa, Kannaland, Knysna, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn.

 

The telephone line of the Garden Route Emergency Centre (044-805 5071) is still offline, including the Emergency Medical Services Ambulance Service line, 10177. The following arrangements remain in place: Report emergencies to the South African Police Service at 10111 or contact 021 937 0555. For medical emergencies dial 112 (from a cellphone), until further notice.

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE
Cape Town Weather Office
2nd Floor: Oval Office Park
Cape Town Int airport
Freight Road
Matroosfontein
Cape Town

E-Mail: factfc@weathersa.co.za
Tel: 021 935 5700

13 December 2022 Media Release: Resource management, land restoration and legislation take centre stage in the Garden Route

Media Release: Resource management, land restoration and legislation take centre stage in the Garden Route

For Immediate Release
13 December 2022

“The Southern Cape and Garden Route is experiencing rapid development and has to make provision to accommodate a fast-growing population, and this more often than not generates friction and anxiety between authorities and landowners where legislation and capacity to e.g. process applications hampers development or where various sets of legislation are seemingly contradictory where for instance land rehabilitation and invasive alien plant eradication is of concern,” says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

“ GREF is hosting its annual key- stakeholder report-back event on 13 December in Wilderness, where regional conservation and environmental management entities and individuals will provide insight on matters pertaining to resource management and land restoration.”

“There is a continued need to understand the linkages between ensuring a high standard of living in the Southern Cape, new development, loss of biodiversity, destruction of wetlands and wildlands and unsustainable pressure on natural resources such as water, and the finding of solutions for environmental challenges are increasingly relevant.”

“In addition to the matters mentioned above, the Garden Route is already experiencing and recording evidence of rising sea levels and climate change, and these are all the more reasons for those who share a concern for the state of the environment to make their voices heard and intensify the environmental debate in order to ensure that sustainability and resilience of natural resources remain top of the regional agenda.”

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a public platform and think tank for all those in the Southern Cape involved in active and ongoing conservation and environmental management effortsThose interested in the event can email Louise Mare louisamare@gmail.com.

Caption: The Garden Route is a place of natural scenic beauty, and every effort must be made to conserve its sensitive environment

ENDS

9 December 2022 Media Release: Garden Route DM is installing 700 smoke detectors in Kannaland

Media Release: Garden Route DM is installing 700 smoke detectors in Kannaland

For Immediate Release
9 December 2022

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) firefighters in collaboration with the Kannaland local municipality’s firefighters installed early smoke detection devices in Varkieskloof, an informal settlement in Ladismith during the past week. A total of 700 devices will be installed in Kannaland municipal area by the GRDM. The outlying areas such as Calitzdorp and Van Wyksdorp will also follow.  It is expected that the project will take at least three months to complete.

The smoke detection device project kicked-off earlier this year, when GRDM installed 1368 smoke detectors in Qolweni and Bossiesgif informal settlements in the Bitou municipal area, after several informal structures were destroyed by fire, which resulted in the deaths of three (3) Garden Routers.

The GRDM’s Disaster Management and Fire and Rescue Services are managing and implementing the project.  Over the past two day, ±178 smoke detectors were installed focusing on structures in the rural settlement.

Having a smoke detector in the home not only alerts residents to the presence of smoke, but also saves lives and minimises property damage.

Afrikaans

Die Garden Route Distriksmunisipaliteit (GRDM) se brandbestryders in samewerking met die Kannaland plaaslike munisipaliteit se brandbestryders het die afgelope week ‘vroeë rookopsporingstoestelle in Varkieskloof, ‘n informele nedersetting in Ladismith, geïnstalleer. Altesaam 700 toestelle sal deur die GRDM in Kannaland geïnstalleer word. Die buitegebiede soos Calitzdorp en Van Wyksdorp sal ook later volg. Daar word verwag dat die projek minstens drie maande sal neem om te voltooi.

Die rookopsporingstoestelprojek het vroeër vanjaar afgeskop toe GRDM 1368 rookverklikkers in Qolweni en Bossiesgif informele nedersettings in die Bitou munisipale gebied geïnstalleer het, nadat verskeie informele strukture deur brand vernietig is, wat tot die dood van drie (3) inwoners gelei het.

Die GRDM se Rampbestuur en Brand- en Reddingsdienste bestuur en implementeer die projek. Oor die afgelope twee week ±178 rookverklikkers geïnstalleer met die  fokus op strukture in die landelike nedersetting.

Om ‘n rookverklikker in die huis te hê, waarsku nie net inwoners van die teenwoordigheid van rook nie, maar red ook lewens en verminder eiendomskade.

-End-

iStock.com/piyaset

09 December 2022 Media Release: The effects of drought growing and prolonged electricity disruptions are increasing

Media Release: The effects of drought growing and prolonged electricity disruptions are increasing

For immediate release
09 December 2022

Local municipalities throughout the Garden Route and the country at large, are experiencing difficulties because of the persistent load-shedding caused by ESKOM. This has a ripple effect on the supply of water, sanitation services and budgets of all municipalities. In light of this, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council has given the GRDM administration the go-ahead to do everything in its power to avert any crisis that may happen as a result of the ongoing outages and drought. GRDM Disaster Management will coordinate the short- and long-term interventions required.

According to Ald. Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor: “The administration is investigating if declaring a local drought disaster is necessary, be it for one area, a few or the entire region”.

“We also need municipalities to state if they support the GRDM to become a water services authority or not because if we have their support we will stand a greater chance to become one and will be able to act more proactively to safeguard the region from water-related disasters.”

Over the past few months, the region grappled with below-normal rainfall patterns. Severe drought in particularly the Klein Karoo, vandalism and theft all over the region and other challenges have left many municipalities focusing a lot of time to do damage control.

Some of the public concerns raised are that water infrastructure is deteriorating; load-shedding causes frequent and continuous interruptions of water supply; repairs to leaks are not always done speedily; generators are not maintained; not all municipalities have water infrastructure maintenance plans in place for the foreseeable future.

The cost of generators and maintaining them remains a challenge. Not enough funding is speedily routed back from other spheres of Government to Local Government to roll out emergency interventions. It requires declaring a region as a disaster to be able to access large sums of funding. For instance, when purchasing a 100KVA generator to pump water from a borehole, a municipality would require more than R400 000 for the infrastructure, R40 000,00 for security per month per generator; more than R140 000 per month for diesel per generator; R10 000,00 for maintenance per month. This will then only serve one borehole.

The running costs per generator will, therefore, be R200 000,00 per month. This is on top of the estimated R400 000,00 to purchase one generator. Generators are also on backorder, meaning that the district will only be able to get generators in three (3) months.

See here: How load shedding is tearing through South Africa’s economy

ENDS

2022 12 08 Media Statement 5: The majority of beaches have been cleaned of hydrocarbon oil drops

Media Statement 5: The majority of beaches have been cleaned of hydrocarbon oil drops

For Immediate Release
8 December 2022

Beach clean-up activities and monitoring continue following a recent incident that resulted in hydrocarbon, low-sulphur oil droplets spreading to Garden Route beaches.

According to Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager: Disaster Management, most beaches are now classified as ‘green’. “It is unlikely that the multi-agency command center will meet again unless new serious issues arise.”

There have been no reports linking the oil spill to humans, birds, or marine life.

Members of the media and public can access the real-time colour-coded map of the region here to see the status of beaches: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/2dff978cb8e9493dadc58ccd2ab9163b/

The status of beaches is included below:

If any member of the public notices small black pellets on any beach along the Garden Route, please report it to the Emergency Call Centre, 044 805 5071.

The Garden Route District Municipality Multi-Agency Command Centre (MACC)  includes the following stakeholders:  Garden Route District Municipality, Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay and Hessequa Municipalities, Provincial Disaster Management Centre, South African Maritime Safety Authority, DFFE: Oceans-to-Coast, Transnet, CapeNature, PetroSA, South African National Parks (SANParks) and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).

ENDS

5 December 2022 Media Statement 4: Several beaches given the ‘green light’

Media Statement 4: Several beaches given the ‘green light’

For Immediate Release
5 December 2022

One week later and clean-up operations of beaches along the Garden Route will continue following the reports of stranded hydrocarbon, low-sulphur oil droplets. These droplets were found along the coastline of the Garden Route towards the end of November 2022.

According to Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager: Disaster Management, several beaches are now classified as ‘green’, and priority is to finalise cleaning busier beaches, including Blue Flag ones, as the holiday season moves closer. “We are also meeting less frequently now as beaches return to normal. We will only meet at 14h00 on Thursday again.”

There have been no reports linking the oil spill to humans, birds, or marine life.

Members of the media and public can access the real-time colour-coded map of the region here to see the status of beaches: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/2dff978cb8e9493dadc58ccd2ab9163b/

The status of beaches is included below:

 

Next update: Another update will be issued tomorrow, 8 December 2022.

If any member of the public notices small black pellets on any beach along the Garden Route, please report it to the Emergency Call Centre, 044 805 5071.

The Garden Route District Municipality Multi-Agency Command Centre (MACC)  includes the following stakeholders:  Garden Route District Municipality, Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay and Hessequa Municipalities, Provincial Disaster Management Centre, South African Maritime Safety Authority, DFFE: Oceans-to-Coast, Transnet, CapeNature, PetroSA, South African National Parks (SANParks) and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).

ENDS

2 December 2022 Media Statement 3: Beach monitoring and clean-up activities continue along the Garden Route coastline

Media Statement 3: Beach monitoring and clean-up activities continue along the Garden Route coastline

For Immediate Release
2 December 2022

Clean-up operations will continue over the weekend. Feedback received during a multi-agency response session this morning about the stranded hydrocarbon, low-sulphur oil droplets, indicates that we are nearing the end of the incident. Along the Garden Route beaches, the windy conditions and high-impact swells have yielded little to no new oil droplets.

According to Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager: Disaster Management, it is important to note that there are manual and natural clean-ups of beaches. With this, it is meant that within three days, the droplets will no longer be visible to the naked eye, depending on their size.

There have been no reports of the spill affecting humans, birds, or marine life. According to Dr Nina Viljoen, Head of Environmental Management at GRDM, no estuaries along the Garden Route have been contaminated. Nevertheless, continuous assessments will be conducted over the weekend, responders will be on standby, and monitoring will take place for any further evidence of oil contamination. In the multi-agency response engagement, it was stressed that monitoring of birds would be extended if the response was scaled down since it is difficult to catch flying birds.

In collaboration with the municipality’s Geographic Information System Unit, GRDM Disaster Management developed an interactive map showing beach colour codes in real-time. This platform can be accessed here.

The current status of beaches is included below:

Next update: Another update will be issued tomorrow, 5 December 2022.

If any member of the public notices small black pellets on any beach along the Garden Route, please report it to the Emergency Call Centre, 044 805 5071.

The Garden Route District Municipality Multi-Agency Command Centre (MACC)  includes the following stakeholders:  Garden Route District Municipality, Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay and Hessequa Municipalities, Provincial Disaster Management Centre, South African Maritime Safety Authority, DFFE: Oceans-to-Coast, Transnet, CapeNature, PetroSA, South African National Parks (SANParks) and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).

ENDS

01 December 2022 Impact Based Weather Warning: Damaging Winds – 02/12/2022

Impact Based Warning –  Damaging Winds

Please find included the Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape regarding Damaging Winds valid from 12:00 to 23:00 on 2 December 2022, as follows:

Report any weather-related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044 805 5071.

ENDS


Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

1 December 2022 Media Statement 2: Several beaches re-opened while some still being cleaned from stranded oil

Media Statement 2: Several beaches re-opened while some are still being cleaned from stranded oil

For Immediate Release
1 December 2022

More than 100 trained individuals are cleaning-up stranded hydrocarbon, low-sulphur fuel oil droplets at more than twenty (20) beaches along the Garden Route. Efforts have resulted in several beaches already moving to green status, which include all the Blue Flag Beaches of Mossel Bay. While assessments found that several others in George, Hessequa, Knysna and Bitou were also affected by the spill, clean-up teams have already responded promptly to remove droplets.

According to Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager: Disaster Management: “Holiday-goers and residents can be assured that the region is ready for its upcoming holiday season”. “The multi-agency response team indicated that most beaches will be cleaned by the end of this weekend, dependent on the 3.5m swells expected tonight.”

According to Otto, the reconnaissance flight planned for yesterday could not take place due to foggy weather conditions, thus, being postponed to today. The plane is currently flying from Plettenberg Bay to Gouritz along the coastline and will paint a clear picture of any visible patches of oil along the coastline and possibly identify the cause of the spill.

There are cleaning stations at beaches, and areas that need to be cleaned are clearly marked. It has not been reported that human health has been affected. No sightings of sea birds or marine life have been reported either.

Beaches that received green status will be visited again after the predicted 3.5m swell and a north-north-west wind, to ensure that no new wash-up of droplets is prevalent.

An outline of the status of beaches along the Garden Route is listed below.

Footage: Video footage taken during a reconnaissance flight today did not find any large areas where oil spills are visible.

Next update: Another update will be issued tomorrow, 2 December 2022.

If any member of the public notices small black pellets on any beach along the Garden Route, please report it to the Emergency Call Centre, 044 805 5071.

The Garden Route District Municipality Multi-Agency Command Centre (MACC)  includes the following stakeholders:  Garden Route District Municipality, Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay and Hessequa Municipalities, Provincial Disaster Management Centre, South African Maritime Safety Authority, DFFE: Oceans-to-Coast, Transnet, CapeNature, PetroSA, South African National Parks (SANParks) and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).

ENDS

Impact Based Weather Warning: Veldfire Conditions from 30/11/2022 to 01/12/2022

Impact Based Weather Warning –  Veldfire Conditions

Please find included the Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape regarding Veldfire Conditions valid from 8:00 on 30 November to 18:00 on 1 December 2022, as follows:

Report any weather-related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044 805 5071.

ENDS


Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”