South Africa 14.6.2018 11:58 am

Cape Town emergency centre swamped as hurricane hoax sparks panic

The fake warning said a ‘hurricane type storm’ would hit the city on Thursday night, and urged citizens to prepare for the storm.

The City of Cape Town’s disaster operations centre has been inundated with calls as panic gripped residents after a hoax message about a hurricane hitting the Mother City made the rounds on social media on Thursday.

The fake warning said a “hurricane type storm” would hit the city on Thursday night, and urged citizens to prepare for the storm.

“Evacuation plans have been set out for several areas and the South African air force is on standby from 10pm onwards,” it said

The hoax comes a day after the South African Weather Service issued a storm warning, with Cape Town authorities bracing for heavy downpours and the “potential fallout”.

Disaster risk management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said the South African Weather Service was predicting galeforce winds of up to 70 kilometres an hour.

But, there was no need for panic, Powell said, adding the calls from concerned residents were blocking the lines for real emergencies.

“We ask that the media please help us highlight the fact that this is indeed a hoax message and advising the public not to call the DOC number in that message unless they have a real emergency.”

The storm made landfall on Thursday, and is expected to continue into Friday.

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

The Citizen Trail Run 2018

today in print