| Get surf report

Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa
durban-carnage-1200-th

Tue, 10 October 2017

Hurricane-force winds and 100mm of rain ripped through Durban this morning with devastating effect - at least six deaths and a huge container ship jammed in the harbour mouth, writes Spike.


flooded-waters-old-airport

FLOATING CONVOY: The highway past the old airport was rather flooded. Photo Supplied


Durban surfer Mike Frew sent us some photos and told us about the mayhem. "Basically, we had a mild west blowing early today, followed by a light south, but from about 10am, BANG, we got 100mm of rain within half an hour and winds up to 67 knots. A category one hurricane is 73 kts, so this wasn't far off a full blown hurricane."

"Drains were blocked and cars floated down the highways outside the old airport near Amanzimtoti. Roofs were blown off. It was radical," Frew said.

Jason Ribbink, another Durban surfer, said that it's the worst and wildest weather he has ever seen in Durban. Reports are that at least six people have died: one drowned in a flooded river. Apparently a container was blown off a truck, landing on a car, instantly killing one occupant, while another was taken to hospital.

There were reports of giant hailstones bigger than golf balls falling in the Maritzburg area. Social media has been choked with footage of the disaster, including a fair bit of fake news purporting to be from Durban, such as a video showing massive hailstones bombarding a domestic swimming pool, although this is believed to come from a strong storm that hit the highveld yesterday.

Patients from King Edward VIII hospital had to be moved after the roof collapsed. Motorists on Edwin Swales drive had to eventually swim from their cars after floodwaters failed to subside.

SE-Storm-Tuesday-10-10-17

To top it off, a giant MSC container ship was blown sideways by the gale, which lodged it between the two breakwater walls of the harbour. A tug is stuck on the outside and another on the inside, and no ships can get in or out of Durban right now.

The flooding was caused by blocked drains that couldn't cope with the massive deluge, which has come from a cutoff low, common in transition periods between seasons. The cutoff low can be very powerful, permeatting all levels of the atmosphere above it. The rain has been falling heavily since the 10am blast, but not at the same volume.

Other places on the coast alaso got severe rain. For instance, 143mm fell in the Coffee Bay area. Expect the seas along the East Coast to be thick with brown water and debris washed out from inland areas.

big-rain-Durban-2017

SE gales out to sea are driving 10ft seas to shore north of Durban though some south in the direction has cut off the city from swell. However the storm detaches from the coast and moves away, so there are going to be solid 6' waves in town tomorrow Wednesday in clean SW winds.

Thursday has waves too, though smaller but consistent, and a strong S to SE wind smashes into the city from around 8 or 9am so the best window appears to be tommorrow, although that depends on now much has washed out from the rivers.

Add comment

Please don't say anything you would not say to a real person, and please use your real name.


Security code
Refresh

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Wavescape on Twitter

Wavescape
Wed Apr 18 17:27:05 +0000 2018

RT @sogoldschmidt: A difficult decision, but surfer and staff safety are paramount to the @WSL . The situation in Margaret River is unique…
Wavescape
Wed Apr 18 17:24:28 +0000 2018

RT @Oceana: Use your voice this #WhaleWednesday to help protect #whales, dolphins and other marine mammals. Tell your member of Congress…
Wavescape
Wed Apr 18 13:11:23 +0000 2018

What do you think of the WSL's decision to cancel the #MargaretRiverPro after two shark maulings 6kms from the cont… https://t.co/xkoY8arAms
Wavescape
Wed Apr 18 07:26:38 +0000 2018

In another bid to stave off what surely is inevitable - a proper shark encounter - the WSL has cancelled the Margar… https://t.co/J6RQVG2nCD
Wavescape
Tue Apr 17 11:58:25 +0000 2018

KZN Far North Coast -- // Fair clean peaks in smooth start Tuesday with open coast long range 3-4' swell feasible,… https://t.co/yH4CCZemaC
Wavescape
Tue Apr 17 11:42:18 +0000 2018

Durban and surrounds -- // Nasty little NE beast wind comes up Tuesday to kill a long period S swell on open coast… https://t.co/cJaufbUUo7
Follow Wavescape on Twitter

Wavescape friends and partners Isiqalo Foundation DIFF CSIR Isiqalo Foundation Surfing  South Africa Save Our Seas Shark Centre Isiqalo Foundation Red Bull Media House DIFF National Sea Rescue Institute Shark Spotters ASP Africa