Archive for Table Mountain

Devastating news from Cape Town

Posted in Biographical with tags , , , on April 18, 2021 by telescoper

(Pictures from here.)

A devastating fire that seems to have started somewhere on Table Mountain has swept onto the upper campus of the University of Cape Town, even engulfing the splendid library (last picture; that’s the special collections part in flames).

It’s terrible to see a place you know go up in flames but at least the campus was evacuated before the fire reached it.

I’ve been to UCT several times, including a long visit in 1995 when I wrote a book with George Ellis. The last time was in 2012; see here. During those visits I was based in the Department of Applied Mathematics, which is on the Upper Campus. From what I’ve seen that building has been completely destroyed by the fire, which seems to be out of control.

I’ve not heard any reports of casualties – thank goodness – but it’s still devastating.

UPDATE: Here is an update on the situation in the Library

UPDATE: I’ve heard from George Ellis that the fires are now out: the Maths and Physics & Astronomy buildings have survived.