Holidaymakers evacuated from luxury South African resort under floodsDecember 17, 2018
Holidaymakers are evacuated from luxury South African resort after massive storms bring terrifying flash floods and hail storms
- Ceilings came crashing down and hotel rooms were swamped at the Sun City
- The resort and casino complex near Pretoria has asked tourists to stay away
- Two injuries were reported from people slipping in the ankle-deep water in hotel
Holidaymakers have been evacuated from a resort in South Africa after huge storms flooded a hotel complex with dirty running water.
Ceilings came crashing down and hotel rooms were swamped at the Sun City resort and casino complex near Pretoria last week.
The restaurants and entertainment areas were also severely damaged by flash flooding, meaning guests have been asked to pack their bags and go home.
Ceilings came crashing down and hotel rooms were swamped at the Sun City resort (pictured) and casino complex near Pretoria last week
The restaurants and entertainment areas (pictured) were also severely damaged by flash flooding, meaning guests have been asked to pack their bags and go home
Two injuries were reported from people slipping in the ankle-deep water in hotel passage ways.
The resort, built inside the crater of an extinct volcano, attracts over one million visitors a year and has hosted pop acts such as Michael Jackson and Queen.
Sun City is asking new visitors to stay away until damage has been repaired.
Videos show floodwater sweeping through the resort which was built in 1979 by hotel tycoon Sol Kerzner and later massively upgraded.
Although South Africa was under a worldwide boycott over apartheid, hotel king Kerzner offered international stars so much money to perform that several flew out to play there.
They included Elton John, Michael Jackson, Status Quo, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Queen and The Beach Boys and five Miss World contests were held there which were beamed worldwide.
Sun City is asking new visitors to stay away until damage has been repaired. Pictured: Cars are caught in a hailstorm
In 1992 Kerzner added to the resort building the five star hotel, Palace of the Lost City.
Along with two 18 hole Gary Player constructed golf courses and the Valley of Waves water park, it became at top resort in South Africa and is a favourite with celebrities and sport stars.
The resort took a massive battering when a huge storm swept across the north west province of South Africa and floodwaters ran down the inner volcano slopes and into the main resort.
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A company statement said: ‘We can confirm that the Sun City Resort was on Saturday affected by the storm and the resultant flash floods causing substantial damage to the hotel rooms.
‘The Sun Central family and entertainment district was also damaged by the weather.
‘Contingency plans are in place to deal with mop-up operations to affected damaged hotel rooms and public areas and we have requested guests with damaged accommodation to return home.
The resort which was built in 1979 by hotel tycoon Sol Kerzner then later massively upgraded
Although South Africa was under a worldwide boycott over apartheid, hotel king Kerzner offered international stars so much money to perform that several flew out to play there
‘We will continue to update as more information becomes available,’ the resort said.
Cepe Town tourist Roderick Damons said he watched the scene unfold from a balcony as bathers were evacuated from the Valley of Waves at about 3.30pm as the storm hit. He said: ‘It was really bad.
‘It felt like a rolling ball of bad weather. Most of the restaurants were closed and most of the guests were at one open restaurant in an endless queue to get food.
‘Rooms close to the slopes were submerged and guests were asked if they could return home to do so and others were moved to other hotels. It really was a very powerful storm’.
The resort’s emergency services are on the ground and assessing the extent of the damage.
Local Municipality spokesperson Beauty Makganye said it appeared that Sun City was the worst area affected by the quick moving storm and no flooding was reported in surrounding villages.
Sun City’s Chief Operation Officer Thabo Mosololi said: ‘Most of the damage was caused by flash flooding at the Sun City family and entertainment centre and in ground floor hotel rooms.
The resort’s emergency services are on the ground and assessing the extent of the damage
‘Visitors intending to travel to Sun City are advised to first check with the hotels they are booked into at the resort before travelling and we have 196 rooms in the four main hotels damaged.
‘Contingency plans are in place and mop up operations are underway in damaged hotel rooms and public areas to ensure normal operations resume as soon as possible at the resort’.
The resort is a two hour drive from Johannesburg and borders the sprawling Pilanesberg National Park which is home to the safari Big five of rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard.
It boasts four luxury hotels, a time share complex and bush bungalows.
It cost R825m (£50m) to build nearly 40 years ago – and has recently undergone a R1bn (£6m) upgrade to keep the tourists flocking through its gates.
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