Fires devastate Garden Route town South Africa

  • I notice that no news sites have bothered to report this so I will here. A mega storm, the worst in three decades has hit Cape Town in South Africa's Western Province, causing 9 deaths and storm surges of 12 metres. Fires fanned by strong winds related to this weather front have caused the evacuation of 10,000 people and the town of Knysna has been burned. It's horrific and it's chaos. Spare a thought, if you have one, for those who live in a country no one cares about anymore.…cuation-underway-20170607

  • South Africa appeared in the news every five minutes when the left was going ape about apartheid. It appeared constantly when it was adulating the ANC. But now that things are going badly and their favourite people have proved themselves to be worse than useless, they have nothing to say. They don't like the opposition, even though it's black. This has made me have many uncomfortable thoughts about the people I descend from. They seem to have changed and they seem to have become someone else. They hate us, they hate themselves and they are obsessed with some universal ideal of heaven on earth through endless Christian style caritas provided by the people's taxes.

    It's very depressing and it's taken me a very long time to get over it and accept it. I'm usually good at doing this but when it comes to the old country and the last links to who I am, I found it very hard. Like going out of the room and coming back to find someone had butchered your entire tribe, or drugged them, and you were the only one left. I'm already one of the only ones left where I am. :(


    We did not forget you, try not to forget us.

  • Trouble is with wall to wall election coverage and the terrorist attacks the news channels in this country have gone into meltdown. Nothing else gets any coverage.

    Sounds bad LW.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.


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  • It's terrible, Heero. They suspect arson because the fire investigators say it's almost impossible for 20 separate fires to surround a town at the same time. People have lost their homes and the poor have been quite literally buckled into nothingness. People are doing as much as they can to help.

    There is also the wildlife devastation to think of and no one wants to contemplate what might have happened to all the creatures and trees. It is an area of indigenous forest. That news will be coming out now that they have contained the fire. They were brilliant. They contained a ring of fire in 24 hours. The wind was so strong the defence force helicopters couldn't get in. It was night and the electricity was cut off and the mobile masts were burned down, so there was just this big dark murky space inside a ring of fire that contained the residents. The fire spread further down the coast and in Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay) one young firefighter was killed because his truck wouldn't start and he couldn't outrun the flames. His friend nearly got it too as he tried to help him. Only 24 years old.

  • The fires have been fought, the rain wasn't enough, many people are homeless, the region is a disaster area and religion is bursting out all over like a disease. I even saw a comment by some loon who said that gay marriages in the church of the area had made God angry and he had burned the place down as "he will not be mocked." Ho-hum, this is South Africa. Cannot get rid of this confounded bullshit, no matter what.

    But there are the rare exceptions and this writer, who is an atheist altruist and not a raving worshipper, has written a report on how fervour can totally eclipse human common sense. It's an article that could describe so many scenarios in the world today, where belief is creating havoc and an inability to relinquish belief is keeping things crazy. If you think about it, there is a bit of this in almost every country and a religious plot in the ideological garden of almost every politician's unrealistic promises to turn earth into Eden if you will only vote for them.

    The writer has also written a book about how extreme environmentalism, can ruin emerging economies.…n-your-face/#.WUDQJ8ZLeHs

  • Glad the fires were put out LW. I am reminded of your 12 metre wave comment in your first post, terrifying.

    AS you know, I like trees and wildlife, but people are more important.

    I didn't even ask you, I am so close are you to all this?

    How many have been killed?

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  • I'm far from Knysna. About nine were killed. There are more gale force winds on the way for that coast and the fires are still smouldering in places so the wind can still whip them up again.

    I don't agree that people are more important than Nature. I see people as simply part of Nature. If humans were less self obsessed and more interested in survival in the long term they would have placed fire watch towers and computer rooms with drone related info on the state of the forests. This would have prevented such a disaster getting out of hand.

    What is horrific is the amount of environmental damage that the fires have caused and as this area is reliant on tourism and is called "The Garden Route", you can imagine how dire their future looks now.

  • Oh, I didn't pick up before the meaning of "The Garden Route." So, it's not just the terrible environmental damage, but the damage to the economy too.

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  • Yes, but the people are tough and are rallying. They have asked that people come to the area as there is much to do. They will rehouse them in other accommodation. They will be having a marathon there soon. It's clean up work, rebuilding, hope and the generosity of others that will get it all back together.

    The Cape has many fires. My father was born there to British colonial parents and he mentioned the high seas in winter and the mountain fires. The protea flowers are actually evolved to thrive under fire damage, which sets free their seeds. They are part of the rich flora of the Cape known as "fynbos". Apparently one of the most diverse plant regions in the world.

    So, here's hoping ...

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