Mudslide mayhem in Simon’s Town

City of Cape Town workers clear a 500 ton mudslide on Main Road in Simons Town.

The 500 tons of soil that surged over Main Road, onto the railway line and out to sea, in a mudslide that cut off Simon’s Town on Friday was caused when a main water pipe burst.

Main Road was closed between Dido Valley and Redhill roads and traffic was diverted, according to Richard Bosman, the City’s executive director of safety and security.

The City’s Disaster Risk Management, Fire and Rescue Service, and Law Enforcement assisted at the scene and bulldozers were brought in to clear the roadway and dig out trapped vehicles, including a bus.

The old asbestos pipe has since been replaced with a new metal one, according to transport and public works mayoral committee member Felicity Purchase.

Ms Purchase said she had been alerted at 7.45am.

“I went down myself about 15 minutes later. By then the sand was across the road almost to top of the wall on the sea side. At that time, fire and rescue were on scene from Simon’s Town and Fish Hoek,” she said.

She called the City’s roads depot and engineers with front-end loaders arrived.

Meanwhile, Simon’s Town-bound trains were stopped at Fish Hoek.

By 9.30am, said Ms Purchase, the water had been turned off, and road workers, along with municipal and navy firefighters, could start moving the soil and digging out the Golden Arrow bus, a land rover and Toyota sedan.

The road had been reopened by 10pm, but it had taken a further day to get water restored to areas that had been supplied by the pipe, Ms Purchase said.

Glencairn had been reinstated on Friday night and Simon’s Town and Seaforth had been restored late on Saturday.

“We are very sorry for this inconvenience,” she said.

Ms Purchase said a navy road had been used divert traffic through Red Hill Road, although commuters had still faced a lot of delays.

The roads department had worked through the night and most of the next day, doing a “sterling job” to clear the road, she said.