Storm wreaks havoc in Cape Town

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Eight people have been killed and thousands forced from their homes as South Africa's tourist base Cape Town and surrounding areas were hit by the worst winter storm in 30 years, officials said on Wednesday (local time).

At least eight people have been confirmed dead, including a family of four whose house burnt down due to a lightning strike.

Western Cape authorities ordered for the closure of schools and universities in the province on Wednesday for the safety of students and teachers.

The storm comes at the end of the region's worst drought in a century.

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has cautioned residents that despite heavy rains, there is still a need to reduce water usage.

Metrorail services between Kraaifontein and Bellville have been cancelled and commuters should expect delays of up to an hour on all other lines, Metrorail said on Twitter. We are used to getting storms here in the Cape.

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Disaster Management are preparing for the worst, as they are required to do.

The City also urges residents that where possible, to use suitable containers to capture rainwater, which is flawless for flushing toilets.

The cold front is expected to continue into Thursday, with no significant rainfall predicted for Friday.

Uprooted trees blocked roads across the city‚ and numerous residents tweeted their appreciation of City of Cape Town emergency teams who quickly removed the obstacles.

In a statement on Tuesday, Western Cape education department head Brian Schreuder said the decision was taken in the best interests of pupil and teacher safety. "It is key that the general public stays away from the coastal areas for their own safety‚" said Charlotte Powell of the council disaster management centre.

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