Facebook activates Safety Check for Cape Town’s storm-affected

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Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature for those in Cape Town following a severe cold front that lashed the city Tuesday evening through Wednesday.

It’s an unprecedented event for the social network in Cape Town. Facebook has used the feature a number of times since launch, but more recently during the 22 May Manchester suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert which killed 22 people.

But while some people are wondering why Facebook has activated the feature for the city, the justification is pretty clear.

The City has announced that five people have died as a result of the storm, which is set to sweep further east and beyond the city by Thursday afternoon.

“Media sources are reporting that heavy winds have downed power lines and uprooted trees due to a major storm that is hitting Western Cape,” Facebook writes.

“Flash flooding and other disruptions have been reported throughout various parts of Cape Town including Athlone, Weltevreden Valley, Goodwood, Boston, and Parow Valley. Up to 800 homes have been flooded across Cape Town and the Cavendish Square shopping center in Claremont has been evacuated as a precaution.”

Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature after Cape Town’s severe cold front claims five lives

To use the feature or to find out if loved ones are indeed safe in Cape Town and surrounds, visit this link.

Facebook will then provide two options: “I’m Safe” or “This Doesn’t Apply To Me”.

Tapping the former then opens a pop-up, in which you can write a bespoke note telling friends, family or your boss that you are indeed safe.

Once complete, the post will be visible as a status update on your profile page.

The service also allows users on Facebook request help from others.

“The South African Weather Service has issued warnings for flooding on Wednesday, June 7, and Thursday, June 8, in Cape Winelands, Cape Metropol and Overberg District, as well as snow in Cape Winelands on Thursday,” Facebook adds.

“Travellers and residents are advised to heed advice from local authorities and take shelter from severe weather.”

Andy Walker, former editor


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