Monster 12m wave crashes into cars after breaching defences in Cape Town

The drought-stricken Western Cape remains in dire need of rain, but the storms "are definitely not what we need right now as they cause more havoc than solutions", Zuma said.

The ferocious storm killed eight people as it pummelled South Africa's west coast forcing the closure of the harbour.

"We have lost almost 250 structures in Knysna and evacuated between 7,000-8,000 people", Colin Deiner, chief director of the Disaster Management center, told reporters about the resort town of some 77,000.

About a five-hour drive to the east, around the wealthy towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, more than 26 fires broke out late on Wednesday, with "severe devastation" in at least 12 suburbs, according to local government officials.

"At the present moment we are still dealing with fires that are out of control".

In Knysna, numerous areas hit were in upmarket neighborhoods.

Sofia Coppola becomes second woman to win Cannes director prize
Hailed as a "powerhouse performance" by Variety magazine, Kruger said the role had taken a huge emotional toll. For the most part, I was surprised with the representation of female characters on screen in these films".

One woman took to Twitter to say an elderly woman was stranded on a hilltop after fleeing her burning home.

The storm forced President Jacob Zuma, who was in Cape Town, to cancel a speech to an worldwide media conference in Durban, a city on the Indian Ocean coastline, his office said.

The intense storm has claimed nine lives, including a three-year-old, as it battered the Western Cape region and caused the blaze to spread rapidly, according to provincial government minister Anton Bredell.

The South African Weather Service said high winds were expected in the region into Thursday.

Four people have died, at least 150 properties have been destroyed and up to 10,000 people have been evacuated.

Residents are banned from using potable water to irrigate gardens, wash cars and fill up swimming pools, with the average level of usable water in surrounding dams having dropped to less than 10 percent.

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