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Video of massive wave crashing into restaurant is from South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, not the Western Cape

IN SHORT: While both provinces were hit by a large storm, a viral video shows waves crashing into a restaurant in KwaZulu-Natal, not the Western Cape. 

A video circulating on social media shows the moment a large wave crashed into a seaside restaurant, washing furniture and other objects into the ocean as it receded. 

Some people can be seen trying to avoid it, while a man repeatedly shouts: “There’s a child in here.”

The video, posted on 18 September 2023 on X (formerly Twitter), has received over 60,000 views. 

An account called Breaking News 24/7, which posted the video, captioned it: “Huge waves hit a restaurant on the beach in Cape Town - South Africa. No one died or get injured.” 

A similar claim has been made on Facebook here.

But did the incident take place in Cape Town in the Western Cape province? We looked into it. 

CapeTownWave_False

Event was widely reported

A reverse image search of key frames from the video led us to various news articles, including ones by Times Live, News24, the South African and the Citizen. The articles included videos and images of the event and its aftermath, which appeared consistent with the video posted by the X account. 

But according to the articles, the incident took place at Mariners restaurant. It is located at Marina Beach near Southbroom, and not in Cape Town as the account claimed. The two locations are both in South Africa, but situated in different provinces over a thousand kilometres apart. 

The event reportedly took place on the afternoon of 17 September. According to the news articles, multiple people were “seriously injured” in the event, with a paramedic reportedly saying some “had major lacerations”.

Wave was part of a larger storm surge along SA’s coast

This event was not an isolated occurrence. On 16 and 17 September, around half of South Africa’s coast was affected by a storm surge, according to the South African Weather Service. The surge was caused by a combination of spring tide, high waves and “conducive wind conditions”. 

The weather agency said the surge resulted in two fatalities, widespread injuries, beach erosion and infrastructure damage in various areas, particularly the South Coast of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces. News outlets have covered the events extensively.

One of the many areas affected was Cape Town, where a restaurant in Kalk Bay was reportedly hit by a massive wave that caused extensive damage, in a similar event to the Southbroom surge. 

This similarity may have contributed to the mislabelling of the Southbroom video as having taken place in Cape Town.

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