When it finally came, restaurant diners rushed outside mid-meal to see the deluge for themselves. Others grabbed buckets to collect precious water from gutters to be used for washing clothes.
The rain that fell on Cape Town Friday evening was cause for celebration in a drought-stricken city headed for “Day Zero” — the day when taps are expected to run dry.
Though whether the brief downpour was enough to delay “Day Zero” — set now for May 11 — remains to be seen.
South Africa’s second-largest city and its surrounding areas received between 2 millimeters and 10 millimeters of rainfall Friday night, according to the Cape Town Weather Office.
The city can expect 2 millimeters to 8 millimeters of rainfall Monday evening and into Tuesday morning — less than an inch — with no further rain expected later in the week.
Despite the paucity, the precipitation was a welcome sight for residents who haven’t seen rain since January 22, and they collected water in buckets and tanks, with plans to use it for everything from washing clothes and dishes to flushing toilets.
But it is unlikely to make a significant impact on the city’s largest reservoir, Theewaterskloof Dam, which satellite images show is at dangerously low levels.
In a restaurant in Cape Town and suddenly the rain hits – everyone goes outside to see.
— James Longman (@JamesAALongman) February 9, 2018