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South Africa : Nearly 1,000 homes in Cape Town destroyed by storms

South Africa : Nearly 1,000 homes in Cape Town destroyed by storms
Jamaicans run toward a shelter in Kingston during the pass of Hurricane Dean over Jamaica, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007.   -  
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Andres Leighton/AP2007

South Africa

Nearly 1,000 homes in informal settlements in Cape Town, South Africa, have been destroyed by gale-force winds, displacing around 4,000 people, authorities and an aid organization said as the city braces for a week of damaging storms.

South African weather authorities said Monday that Cape Town and surrounding areas are expected to be hit by multiple cold fronts until at least Friday, bringing torrential rain, strong winds and flooding.

Cape Town's disaster coordination team has been on alert since the first front arrived last Thursday.

The worst-hit areas are expected to be the poor, informal settlements on the edge of South Africa's second-biggest city. Thousands have been displaced in Khayelitsha's township on Cape Town's outskirts after strong winds destroyed homes and other structures.

The Gift of the Givers local aid organization said it provided 10,000 meals and 3,000 blankets to displaced people in Khayelitsha over the weekend.

Other areas have been flooded and the weather has caused power outages in more than 30 suburbs, the City of Cape Town said. It said it is monitoring dam levels to ensure they don't overflow and would consider a controlled release of some water with more heavy rain expected this week.

Cape Town is often hit by cold fronts from the Atlantic Ocean during its winter months in the middle of the year. They are especially damaging for the impoverished informal settlements.

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