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YouTube videos capture devastation of Cape Town storm, Knysna fire

We use the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook extensively when covering stories across South Africa, but when the Cape Town storm rolled across the peninsula this week, citizens took to YouTube to upload their clips.

Although some of the videos were hoaxes, clearly edited to incite viral reactions from those all too eager to hit like and retweet buttons, other videos were genuine.

And genuinely scary.

At the time of writing, nine of the top 12 trending videos on YouTube in South Africa is related to the Cape Town storm or Knysna fires.

Read more: Memeburn’s in-depth coverage of the #CapeStorm and #KnysnaFire

This particular clip doesn’t quite depict the devastation of the storm, but rather its power.

Recorded from an airplane on a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Graeme Rogers’ calm flight quickly turned into a “tumble dryer” notes one commenter.

The video is currently the seventh most viral video on YouTube in South Africa, accruing some 43 000 views in just over two days.

Turbulence isn’t a rare experience for aircraft, nor is flying through storms, but occasionally, but this is probably more than what these passengers bargained for.

The flight did land safely.

On the ground closer to the coastline, the South African Weather Service issued numerous warnings suggesting that swells would be larger than normal around midday Wednesday. The storm coincided with a spring tide bringing swells of up to 16 metres in some parts.

Some people caught this phenomenon on camera.

This particular clip shows sea water spilling across Beach Road in Sea Point — an area of Cape Town normally well clear of the water.

On Wednesday however, Sea Point’s Beach Road became, for a moment, a part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Other YouTubers also focussed on the swell, with Sea Point promenade proving a popular location for videos and selfies.

Joshua Roode published what is the sixth most viral video on YouTube South Africa at present.

Fit with 1080p footage captured at 60 frames per second, the clip showcases a number of scenes filmed across Cape Town including fierce winds, submerged cars on Sea Point promenade, and huge breakers at Three Anchor Bay.

It has gained around 38 000 views in two days.

The Cape Town storm didn’t only bring rought seas, wind and rainy weather. Snow also appeared on Wednesday evening in higher regions of the Western Cape as the cold air rushed through the province in the wake of the front.

“Mountains in Ceres and the surrounding areas are covered in snow,” video publisher eNCA wrote on its video description.

“These weather conditions are expected to last until Friday. Emergency services are welcoming the freeze, as this can help combat the nearby Knysna fires.”

Speaking of Knysna, the Southern Cape town’s residents also took to YouTube, publishing videos of the fires that ravaged the area.

This video, showcasing the Western Head of the Knysna Lagoon ablaze, was published by Group Editors and received over 45 000 views in around two days.

It’s currently the second most viral video in South Africa.

The fires were fueled by strong, hot winds prior to the cold front’s landfall in Cape Town.

This video, initially published on Storm Report SA’s Facebook page, was republished on News24’s YouTube channel on Wednesday.

The footage, captured from an airplane flying above the Knysna fire, demonstrates the extent of the blaze reaching from Sedgefield in the west to Plettenberg Bay in the east.

The video is currently the fourth most popular clip on YouTube in South Africa, with close to 140 000 views.

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