South Africa
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Rare weather ‘phenomenon’ leaves trail of destruction in Western Cape

Officials for the SA Weather Service have confirmed that an EF1 waterspout hit Velddrif on Saturday afternoon. The quaint Western Cape town was battered by the ‘mini-tornado’, which is understood to have been OVER 500 metres long.

Watch: TORNADO and storm wreak havoc in Western Cape
This is one waterspout the incy-wincy spider won’t be climbing up any time soon! – Photos: Facebook / Ettiene Laubscher

Western Cape ‘caught out’ by freak weather conditions

It’s not often you see one of these bad boys doing the rounds in South Africa. Indeed, it caught locals in the Western Cape off their guard as well. There was ‘extensive damage’ to both private property and public infrastructure, with trees uprooted and traffic lights ‘blown towards the ocean’.

SAWS have tried to summarised the whacky weather in the clearest terms possible…

“The South African Weather Service can confirm that an EF1 waterspout hit Velddrif, Western Cape during the afternoon of 13 August 2022. It hit between 16:00 and 16:20, causing infrastructure damage to isolated houses and an apartment building along the Berg River.”

“Forecasters from the Western Cape visited the affected area to conduct an assessment of the phenomenon. It was determined that the length was roughly 565m as calculated from Google Maps, and the width was estimated to be between 20m and 26m.”

“The Cape Town Weather Office would also like to express their gratitude to the local community of Velddrif who assisted with photos and videos, gave thorough explanations of the experience and opened their homes in order for this assessment to be conducted.” | SAWS statement

How much damage was caused by the Velddrif waterspout?

  • Boundary walls were completely blown over on two properties in this part of the Western Cape.
  • A large branch was carried by the wind and dumped onto a fence.
  • An olive tree in Velddrif was UPROOTED by the waterspout.
  • One roof was lifted entirely away from a dwelling, and an apartment building also suffered structural ceiling damage.
  • Green roof sheeting was dumped on the shores of Berg River, and the jetty in Velddrif was left damaged.
  • Meanwhile, a traffic sign was blown down and forced towards the ocean.
Waterspout Velddrif
This was the trail of destruction left behind by the waterspout phenomenon in Velddrif, Western Cape – Photo: SAWS