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Pictures: New rains leave trail of destruction

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Heavy rains that fell in and around Harare on Sunday night left a trail of destruction, forcing some families in low-lying area to seek alternative accommodation after their houses were submerged in water.

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The rains which poured the whole night also swept off at least three vehicles along Crowborough Road in Cold Comfort, in the Tynwald area while some motorists spent the night parked on roadsides as the roads were impassable.

A man makes his way  through a flooded bridge in Braeside after a thunderstorm swept through Harare on Sunday.
A man makes his way through a flooded bridge in Braeside after a thunderstorm swept through Harare on Sunday.

A drive around a few of Harare’s residential areas like Strathaven, Avenues, Dzivaresekwa, Tynwald North, and Kuwadzana Areas showed that the rains had also destroyed maize crop that is a common feature in most residential areas.

A Toyota Corona ED is seen swept away into a field in Cold Comfort on Monday.
A Toyota Corona ED is seen swept away into a field in Cold Comfort on Monday.

“I was about to sleep when I saw rain water flowing into our cottage. The flow was so heavy that I had to vacate these premises and spent the night at a friend’s home located on higher grounds,” said a Tynwald North resident who refused to identified.

A house built on a wetland is seen in Tynwald in Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.
A house built on a wetland is seen in Tynwald in Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.

The toilet and water well which is located a few meters away, were both consumed by the fast flowing waters which flooded Dzivaresekwa Stream that flows nearby.

These residents have since realized that the estate agent that sold them this land duped a handful of people that have built homes along this stream which apparently is a designated wetland.

A house built on a wetland is seen in Tynwald in Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.
A house built on a wetland is seen in Tynwald in Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.

“We bought these properties for nearly US$40 000 but look what is happening. This was not a fair deal and we feel cheated by these agents because this land is not for residential purposes,” said the woman.

Somewhere up the road, a family had removed all their property out to dry after they wetre soaked by the heavy rains.

“This is a scam. How can a reputable estate agent fool us like this? And how am I going to recover all this loss? We would never have known that we bought land on a wetland because we purchased this stand during the dry period. I have to move out because as you can see more rains are threatening to pound again,” said a dejected young man.

The heavy winds that accompanied these heavy rains blew off roof of a house and a cottage belonging to a Gwemende Mashiri, an elder with a local Pentecostal church.

Men attempt to fix a roof on a house in Tynwald, Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.
Men attempt to fix a roof on a house in Tynwald, Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.
Men attempt to fix a roof on a house in Tynwald, Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.
Men attempt to fix a roof on a house in Tynwald, Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.

When the NewsDay crew arrived at his house, his son Arthur and a member of his church Tinashe Chikaka were busy nailing the metal roof sheeting on the house.

“The rains pounded so hard last night, soaking all blankets and carpets in the house. I have never experienced such a vicious and brutish rainfall like this one,” Elder Mashiri said.

A tree cutter cuts through a tree that was uprooted along Suffock Road in Strathaven after a thunderstorm swept through Harare on Sunday.
A tree cutter cuts through a tree that was uprooted along Suffock Road in Strathaven after a thunderstorm swept through Harare on Sunday.
A tree cutter cuts through a tree that was uprooted along Suffock Road in Strathaven after a thunderstorm swept through Harare on Sunday.
A tree cutter cuts through a tree that was uprooted along Suffock Road in Strathaven after a thunderstorm swept through Harare on Sunday.

A stretch of vehicles are said to have spent the night on the other side after turning into Tynwald North from Kirkman Road after the nearby burst its banks.
At Strathaven Shopping Centre, a tree opposite Londoners Night Club was uprooted in the car park whilst three other trees in the area fell during the heavy downpour.

A tree lies uprooted at Strathaven shopping centre in Strathaven, Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the capital on Sunday night.
A tree lies uprooted at Strathaven shopping centre in Strathaven, Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the capital on Sunday night.

Along the Harare Bulawayo Highway, towards Kuwadzana Roundabout, a huge metal billboard constructed on heavy steel bars, also fell down last night.

A Telecel billboard is seen uprooted along Bulawayo Highway in Harare on February.
A Telecel billboard is seen uprooted along Bulawayo Highway in Harare on Monday.

In the Braeside area, a river behind Ok Mart submerged a narrow bridge making it impossible for small cars to manouvre through.

Police Spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she received a telephone call from some men that were marooned in the floods at around 23 hours on Sunday night.

A man stands between gum poles in Tynwald that were washed away by heavy rains that fell in Harare parts on Sunday night.
A man stands between gum poles in Tynwald that were washed away by heavy rains that fell in parts Harare on Sunday night.
Maize crop lie almost uprooted in Tynwald, Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.
Maize crop lie almost uprooted in Tynwald, Harare after a thunderstorm swept through the city on Sunday night.

“I immediately called Officer Commanding Harare Sir Asst Comm Mubaiwa and Asst Comm Kupara who were on duty who also then informed the sub aqua team to the scene. They later called me in the early hours of today saying that they had rescued Godknows Marufu, Makario Chinongwa, and Gabriel Majonga who were trapped in a Toyota Raum.

“Joe Tembere was also rescued as he stood on the roof top of his Nissan Sunny vehicle that was marooned in the floods and there is another man, who we could not locate whose Toyota Corona was found in the floods. Police recovered his specs and cellphone and we urge him to come and get his items,” she said.

Charamba urged motorists not to cross flooded bridges, no matter how small the streams may look.

The Department of Meteorological Services last week warned of heavy rains and floods in most parts of the country this week.

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