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Lightning Kills Six

Six people died as a result of the recent heavy rains and lightning which also caused significant infrastructure damage and even some destruction across the nation.

The heavy rains that fell from last Friday to last Sunday had a significant negative impact on crops and livestock as well.

Floods, lightning, falling trees, and the collapse of infrastructure like schools were the main causes of fatalities and damage to infrastructure.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Mr. Gabriel Masvora, said in a statement yesterday that while the Meteorological Services Department’s predicted rains brought good prospects for crop yields, they also resulted in the loss of life and property.

“The rains were experienced in most parts of the country as forecasted by the Meteorological Services Department (MSD), thus raising hopes for a better agricultural season,” said Mr Masvora. “However, the rains left a trail of destruction in Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and South, Mashonaland Central and the Midlands.

“These provinces recorded incidents of drowning, deaths of persons and livestock due to lightning, destruction of infrastructure such as schools, houses, roads and bridges and destruction of crops.

“A total of six deaths were recorded during the period in question. In Mazowe District, a Headmistress died on the spot after a tree fell on a vehicle she was seated in.”

Read Also: Police Officer Killed By Lightning, Girlfriend Hospitalized

The six people who died, according to Mr. Masvora, included two who drowned while attempting to cross flooded rivers in the Gwanda and Mutasa districts, two who were struck by lightning in Chivi, and one who died from wounds sustained when a tree fell in Mazowe.

After a house collapsed as a result of heavy rains in the Gokwe South district, the other victim perished.

“It is worrisome that a number of schools were damaged by the rains and strong winds at a time when the first term of 2023 was starting.

“A number of houses were also affected by flooding particularly in areas with poor drainage and low lying areas,” Mr Masvora said.

Mr. Masvora described the damage that occurred throughout the nation, stating that Muparuri Primary School in Ward 7, Zaka district, Zihwa School in Chivi, and a classroom block at St. Martins, Chivi, had their roofs for classroom blocks blown off due to strong winds associated with the rains.

Strong winds in the Mwenezi and Chivi districts caused at least three houses to have their roofs blown off, and a private shop in Chivi was also damaged. Floods in the Mbire district of Mashonaland Central province destroyed more than 150 ha of maize, sorghum, and cowpeas, while 20 A 1 farmers collectively lost 10 ha of tobacco.

Four beasts were struck by lightning in Chipinge and Mutare rural, in Manicaland Province.

Nineteen houses were totally damaged while 29 had their roofs blown off or partially blown off by strong winds. Twenty-two schools experienced varying destruction across the country.

“The public is advised to stay informed about the weather through daily forecasts, 10-day bulletins and seasonal forecast updates via the official Meteorological Services Department platforms.

“The Department of Civil Protection is advising citizens not to relax despite the termination of the alert issued recently,” Mr Masvora said.


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