8 dead as storm brings rain to drought-hit Cape Town

The strongest winter storm in recent years in Cape Town, South Africa, has claimed the lives of at least eight people.

Four people died in a fire caused by a lightning strike in the northern Cape Town suburb of Kraaifontein, while another was killed in the Lavender Hill area when a building collapsed, said James-Brent Styan, a spokesman for the provincial ministry for local government, environmental affairs and development planning.

City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has urged Capetonians to remain calm and do all they can to keep safe.

The storm hit the Cape Peninsula early on Wednesday morning, which some have described as the "worst storm in living memory".

The storm comes at the end of the region's worst drought in a century. Many injuries due to flying debris were also reported by the BBC. We are used to getting storms here in the Cape.

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Around 700 structures have been affected by flooding, according to the City of Cape Town's Disaster Management.

"Use suitable containers to capture rainwater‚ which is flawless for flushing toilets as an example".

Forecasters said the storm predicted to be the worst for 30 years would reach its height between 11am and 5pm.

"We must therefore continue to save water now and we can not afford to have our water use influenced by the weather - using less than 100l per person per day whether at home, work, school or elsewhere remains the requirement". "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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