Eight people, including four children, died of electrocution in two separate incidents after flooding in poor informal settlements near the South African city of Cape Town, emergency services said on Tuesday.
Four people died in Driftsands settlement in the eastern suburbs, Cape Town’s disaster risk management agency said in a statement, as flooding caused problems with power connections. Four children were electrocuted and died in Klipfontein settlement.
Many houses in the poor towns on the outskirts of South Africa’s second largest city have makeshift electricity connections, where people plug their houses or shacks into existing power lines. They are illegal and dangerous, but relatively common.
A storm front lashed the Cape Town region and the larger Western Cape province for three days, causing rivers to burst their banks and flood residential areas and major roads, both in coastal areas and inland. Hundreds have been evacuated.
SOUTH AFRICA FLOODS LEAVE MORE THAN 440 DEAD. TROOPS SENT TO HELP RELIEF EFFORTS
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Outages caused by the weather left more than 80,000 customers across the province without power, the national power company said. That had dropped to 15,000 by Tuesday as the rain subsided.
Local officials said three people died after being swept away by floods in the mainly rural Overberg region, just over 60 miles east of Cape Town. The region is one of South Africa’s major wheat growing regions and there were fears of major damage to crops and infrastructure from the floods.
Storms caused by cold fronts are common in the Cape Town area and the Western Cape province. A cold front in June caused about $50 million in damage to the agricultural sector in the Western Cape, according to the provincial government.