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Cape weather death toll rises

Four people have died due to harsh Western Cape weather conditions.

Heavy rainfall, strong gale force winds and hail storms hit Cape Town over the weekend. Picture: @Itslynnykansas via Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape disaster officials said on Monday four people have died due to severe weather since Friday last week.

Officials have estimated around 30,000 people have been affected by the weekend's stormy and cold weather.

Provincial Disaster Risk Management's Colin Deiner said one person died as a result of hypothermia in Robertson on Sunday night while another man was killed in a shack fire near Ceres.

"We're doing a periodic update of what requirements there are and where we should assist in response to these incidents."

Meanwhile a woman passed away in Wynberg, allegedly due to her exposure to the cold and wet weather.

At the same time the Western Cape Health Department said there's been an increase in the number of children who have had to be hospitalised due to respiratory problems brought on by the weather conditions.

Provincial traffic officials said at least two people have been killed in road accidents caused by the weather.

As the bad weather conditions persist some schools say their learner attendance has been severely affected.

Two schools in Mitchells Plain and Lavender Hill, among the worst hit areas, said on Monday up to four pupils per class have been absent.

Alpine Primary School Principal Ashraf Patel said about 180 learners were absent from school on Monday.

He said even though the number is quite high, it's normal at the school during the winter season.

"Because it rained for a few days some of their school clothes may still be wet or haven't been cleaned yet."

Meanwhile in Lavender Hill, Hillwood Primary School Acting Principal Lionel Slinger said an average of four learners are absent in each class ranging from grades R to 7.

The principals are however urging the learners to come to school as the June exams kick off this week.

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