ONE person died and 41 others were injured while 15 000 were left homeless after a heavy storm hit Rutenga growth point in Mwenezi, Masvingo province, on Saturday.
Report by Tatenda Chitagu
Mwenezi East MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (Zanu PF) confirmed the incident, adding property worth over $10 million was destroyed by the storm which also killed livestock.
“One person died and 41 others were injured and hospitalised at Rutenga Clinic. The most affected are children and women,” Bhasikiti said.
“About 15 000 households were affected. Every asbestos-roofed house was destroyed by the hailstorm. We are greatly devastated. The storm also killed animals and destroyed crops. The damage is so serious and we estimate the cost to be around $10 million. We are appealing to government and other non-governmental organisations to help the affected families.”
The deceased’s name could not be ascertained by the time of going to print as the police could not be reached for a comment. Villagers said the hailstorm pounded the area for nearly 30 minutes.
Masvingo provincial administrator Felix Chikovo said he was in a board meeting when called for a comment.
The hailstorm came hardly four months after a similar storm left a trail of destruction in Chivi in January this year. Another storm hit the Tshelanyemba area in Matobo district on Saturday leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Officials from the Department of Meteorological Services could not be reached for comment over the cause of the storm.