‘Tornado’ rips across two Cape Flats areas

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October 25, 2016
‘Tornado’ rips across two Cape Flats areas

FORCE OF NATURE: Damage to homes in Bonteheuwel and Rylands. CREDIT: Brendan Magaar

Mense blame global warming and high crime rates for whirlwind.

Residents of Bonteheuwel claim they thought God’s finger was touching them after a “tornado” ripped through their neighbourhood.

The whirlwind apparently touched down in Bontas and nearby Rylands on Sunday afternoon, forcing people to run for cover to escape the destruction.

No injuries were reported, but the tornado “which lasted a few seconds”, caused damage to some homes in both areas.

Sabri Arendse of Rylands says his son saw the twister from his bedroom window of their flat in Jane Road.

“I was taking washing from the line when I felt the sudden wind so I went in and told my wife to close the door and windows,” he says.

“The wind suddenly started howling, it was a little tornado.

“My son saw the wind as it came towards our block. He saw the leaves and sticks twisting in the wind. The pressure of the wind lifted some tiles from the roof of the block opposite us.”

Sabri believes global warming is behind this weather phenomenon.

“It’s all part of climate change and if government does not warn the people then it will only get worse,” he says.

“We had one of the worst tornadoes in Manenberg and Heideveld where people’s homes were blown to the ground.”

In August 1999, a wind of destruction ripped through Manenberg, Surrey Estate and Gugulethu killing five people, leaving 5000 people homeless and injuring 180 people.

Meanwhile, the leader of a Bonteheuwel prayer group says the strong wind was a “sign from God”.

Residents reported broken windows and damaged roofs.

Elizabeth Lingveldt, 52, and her group say prayers at crime hotspots around Bonteheuwel for weeks.

“On Friday God told me not to go to the A section and rather pray on the corner near the Catholic Church [in Jakkalsvlei Avenue],” she says.

“I have a horn that I blow after every prayer session, on Friday I blew the horn in the direction of Amandel Road [A section].

“That is the same direction from which the wind came from on Sunday.

“People told us the wind skipped all the areas where we usually pray.

“This is a message from God to Bonteheuwel, the community must stand together.”

Resident Achmat Lakay, 57, says: “I saw it and it only blew in the parts [most affected by crime].”

The SA Weather Service said no tornado reports were received.

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