Fires engulf scenic town in South Africa; 10,000 evacuated

JOHANNESBURG: South African officials say about 10,000 people were evacuated from a scenic coastal town that has been devastated by fast-moving fires.

Local media reported Thursday that the military plans to help emergency responders in Knysna, which lies on the Garden Route, a popular tourist destination on the southern coast of South Africa.

Strong winds from a storm that hit the coastline on Wednesday were fanning multiple blazes, which destroyed dozens of homes and also damaged an evacuated hospital and a school.

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

While Cape Town and surrounding areas have been suffering a severe drought, the rain was not expected to bring long-lasting relief.