The Cape Of Storms
The nightmare scenario gets worse: Sewers could back up, spreading disease like malaria, cholera, tuberculosis, West Nile Virus and dengue fever, all of which pay calls at one of the nation's biggest and oldest ports. Coffins could pop out of the shallow ground. Above-ground fuel tanks might break moorings to become boat bombs. And toxic chemicals could spill into the mix if petrochemical plants to the west break up.
(More on the storm from USA TODAY.)
In Cape Town we are lucky in that we aren't in the path of hurricanes or tropical storms, although in the last few years we've had the odd mini tornado race across the Cape Flats, much to everyone's surprise. The worst weather we tend to experience, however, is heavy winter storms that have battered the cape for centuries, sunk ships, or left them stranded in shallow water, hence the informal name "The Cape Of Storms", but these are nothing like hurricanes.
Much of Cape Town's CBD is situated on reclaimed land (which basically means, of course, that the sea was pushed back to create more land - a practice that has never made sense to me), and with the ever-increasing threat of global warming and the weird changes in the weather, I've often wondered how safe this city is. Venice is sinking. New Orleans is sinking. Much of Holland is below sea level. Much of Asia was wiped out by last year's tsunami. Is Cape Town safe? Why would it be?
Labels: Cape Town