Firefighter severely burnt in Knysna fire

Police, Western Cape government rubbish rumours of 'arsonists' being arrested for Plett fires

By mid-morning‚ about 13 houses had already been evacuated just outside Knysna towards Plettenberg Bay.

A storm pummeled the coastline around the South African city of Cape Town on Wednesday, June 7, unleashing heavy rains as well as high winds that fanned fires and forced evacuations of some residents.

Hundreds of homes in Knysna, a town of 77,000 people located on the tourist Garden Route 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of Cape Town, have been destroyed by multiple fires triggered by the worst storm to hit the area in 30 years.

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A auto is washed over by a huge wave that slammed into the promenade during heavy storms in the Sea Point neighborhood of Cape Town. His death brought the death toll from the storm to nine.

Via twitter, many people have been volunteering their homes and cars for those leaving the area of the blaze. By Thursday, some rain had fallen and the situation had improved; disaster management officials sought to provide aid to residents who had fled their homes.

Strong winds and billowing smoke made it hard for the military to use helicopters to help put out the fires.

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Knysna municipal spokesperson Fran Kirsten said residents had also been evacuated from Belvedere‚ Brenton-on-Sea and Karatara outside Knysna‚ among other areas.

MTN has successfully restored connectivity to large parts of Knysna, in the Western Cape, following a devastating fire that has raged through the region, Knysna Plett Herald reports.

Western Cape authorities ordered for the closure of schools and universities in the province on Wednesday for the safety of students and teachers. Santam, which on May 31 said underwriting results are under pressure, dropped as much as 2.9percent to its lowest level on a closing basis in nearly four months.

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