Five people died in Chipinge this Thursday afternoon after being struck by lightning at Lucky Chitima’s farm as heavy rains continue to claim lives in the district since the start of the rainfall season.

The
deceased are three women and two children.

Eye
witnesses say three women, two from Gumai communal areas and one from Chitima
farm were struck by lightning together with their children around three in the
afternoon while cultivating fields at Chitima’s farm when the violent storms
and lightning started.

Due
to the rains, the now deceased went to a shack constructed to scare away
monkeys as they sought refuge before the shelter was struck by lightning
resulting in four lives being lost on the spot while the 5th casualty who is
also a child, died upon arrival at Chipinge District Hospital.

A
baby who sustained burns was still at the hospital by Friday morning while the
bodies of the deceased have been taken to Chipinge mortuary.

The
deceased’s family members who gave accounts of what transpired expressed shock
following the unfortunate incident.

“We
are shell shocked following the death of our relatives as a result of
lightning. It is really unfortunate that lightning has killed a number of
people in the district including our own relatives,” said one woman.

Elsewhere
in the district, Emald Secondary School in the Mt Selinda area was affected by
a strong hailstorm resulting in the school administration and a classroom
block’s roofs being taken away and injuring five students in the process.

According
to the secondary school’s head Jenifer Jubadeya and SDC Chairman Simon
Dhliwayo, three students were taken to Mt Selinda Hospital after the
unfortunate incident while two students sustained minor injuries.




“The school was unfortunate to be affected by a hailstorm that destroyed roofs and
injured five students with three taken for treatment to Mt Selinda hospital
after sustaining deep cuts,” said School Head Jubadeya.

A
number of hailstorms have affected schools and houses since the start of the
rainfall season in the district while a month ago about five people were struck
to death by lightning on two separate occasions in the district.

Lightning
destroys 60ha sugarcane

Meanwhile,
about 60 hectares of sugarcane fields in the Middle Sabi area have also been
struck by lightning.

Green
Fuels Middle Sabi Estate Manager Mr Rice Moyo revealed that this is the 3rd
time their fields have been struck by lighting and 12 730 tonnes of cane have
been lost.

Mr
Rice said the cane destroyed is a huge loss to the company as they are in the
off season servicing the ethanol mill plant, adding that irrigation implements,
overhead sprinklers and aluminium pipes were also destroyed.

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Tapiwa Kapisa

Tapiwa is a Journalist who is passionate about being a voice for the marginalised.

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