Brand South Africa calls on citizens to help those in Knysna

A raging fire along the Garden Route

A raging fire along the Garden Route

James Styan, a spokesman for the Western Cape local government, said between 8,000 and 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to the fires.

Firefighters are now battling 26 active fires, made worse by a "storm front" that has flooded nearby Cape Town but fanned the flames around the well-heeled seaside town of Knysna and the neighboring Plettenberg Bay.

In this video, which was shown live on Facebook, the shells of several burnt-out houses can be seen, as well as live fires in other buildings.

The storm killed eight people, including three who died in a fire, and dumped heavy rain on Cape Town, west of Knysna.

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The death toll in Knysna rose to five on Thursday, after a man died of a heart attack while being evacuated from his home.

Eight people were killed by the blaze, according to Reuters.

Flames raged through dozens of homes in Knysna, leaving four people dead. Knysna fire chief Clinton Manual said there was little hope of stopping the fire and officials would continue evacuating all those in its path.

The company said its engineers were now on site in Cape Town to recharge backup batteries that power the affected sites.

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East of the city, high winds fanned brush fires that forced the closure of a section of main road.

The weather also caused chaos throughout the city, knocking out electricity and cancelling flights and rail services.

Residents are banned from using potable water to irrigate gardens, wash cars and fill up swimming pools, with the average level of usable water in surrounding dams having dropped to less than 10 percent. On Wednesday, authorities urged residents to capture rain from the storm in containers for flushing toilets and other needs.

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