Winds of 103km/h are smashing their way up the Eastern Cape coastline.
The first major infrastructure casualty was a huge and historic harbour crane in the Nelson Mandela Bay harbour which toppled and lies in a giant crumpled mass of steel on the port wall.
At 8.45am on Tuesday the wind peaked at 105km in Nelson Mandela Bay, according to measurements taken by the SA Weather Service.The container loading crane crashed minutes after 6.30am, said the service’s Garth Sampson.
At just after 8am, the Daron Mann Breakfast on Algoa FM reported that listeners had sent in photographs of a crane that had been blown over in the entrance to the Port Elizabeth harbour.
Although no exact time of the crane’s collapse could be ascertained, it must have occurred between 6.30am (when the wind started) and 7.40am (when the Algoa FM news desk received the first photographs). He said: “Note: this may not be the highest wind for the day and details of maximums will be forwarded later.”He suggested the crane when down when the wind increased over a short period of time. could have been a contributing factor to this happening.
The graphs showed that within 15 minutes the wind speed doubled from 36 km/h to 76km/h and peaked at 103km. At the airport the wind hit an average of 102km/h.
The record for Port Elizabeth is 139 km/h in August 1991.“The wind is expected to continue to gust in the region of 95km/h until 2pm and 75km/h until 8pm tonight, when it will start abating,” said Sampson.
By: Mike Loewe