A raging fire which has destroyed large parts of Knysna was on Thursday making its way towards Plettenberg Bay which has been placed on standby to evacuate. PHOTO: Ewald Stander

In The News South Africa

SANDF provides choppers to WCape, strong winds make take-off difficult

CAPE TOWN, June 8 – The South African National Defence (SANDF) on Thursday said it would be deploying five helicopters to help with firefighting and relief efforts in the storm hit and fire-ravaged areas of the Western Cape.

In a statement, the SANDF said it would be deploying two Oryx helicopters and a BK 117 chopper to help firefighting efforts in Knysna. Another Oryx helicopter and a BK 117 helicopter would be ready to assist with emergency evacuation in storm-hit areas of the province.

The chopper, were however, still grounded due to the weather.

“Due to the wind speed and severity levels at the moment, all deployed air elements, civilian and military, are unable to take to the skies,” the SANDF said.

The SANDF would also deploy troops to patrol Knysna to protect homes and businesses from looting in the evacuated areas.

“The SANDF will also deploy water tankers to assist the Provincial Emergency Services battle the raging fires.”

Between 8,000 and 10,000 people were displaced in Knysna, with many being accommodated in community halls.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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