Light­ning claims six more lives in Chipinge

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Manicaland & Mashonaland East - Man­i­ca­land Correspondent

AN­OTHER tragedy has hit Chipinge af­ter five peo­ple died and an­other was crit­i­cally in­jured when they were struck by a light­ning bolt on Thurs­day last week.

This brings the num­ber of peo­ple who have died from light­ning strikes in Man­i­ca­land since the on­set of the rainy sea­son to 18.

Man­i­ca­land po­lice spokesper­son In­spec­tor Tavhir­ingwa Kako­hwa said the six, who were work­ing in their fields, had sought shel­ter in a shed when the heavy storm started.

He said Mar­gret Naudhe (45), Chipo Gwete (32), Eg­ness Sis­iba (30) and Press­more Ma­phume (5) died on the spot, while Ropafadzo Ma­phume (1 year, 3 months) died on ad­mis­sion at Chipinge District Hospi­tal.

Itai Manasa is bat­tling for his life at the same hospi­tal.

“The in­ci­dent oc­curred on Jan­uary 10 at around 12pm,” said Insp Kako­hwa. “They were work­ing in the field and were struck by the light­ning bolt in the shed where they sought shel­ter.”

Insp Kako­hwa said the mat­ter was re­ported by Nyarai Chi­nosa, who con­tin­ued work­ing in the field when the oth­ers sought shel­ter.

He said Chipinge ru­ral po­lice vis­ited the scene and a post-mortem was waived.

In De­cem­ber, nine peo­ple and six cat­tle were killed by light­ning in Mu­tasa, Chi­man­i­mani and Chipinge, while farm­ers lost crops worth more than $600 000.

A Nyanga woman was struck by light­ning on Jan­uary 5 as she slept, while her hus­band, who was sleep­ing on the same bed, sur­vived.

On Jan­uary 9, an­other woman died in Nyazura af­ter a bolt of light­ning struck her as she sat in her kitchen.

Man­i­ca­land chief me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal of­fi­cer Mr Lu­cas Mu­rambi said the province had been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the am­pli­fied ef­fects of cli­mate change which had led to more in­ci­dents of hail­storms, thun­der­storms and heat waves.

Light­ning strikes have so far killed 18 peo­ple in Man­i­ca­land since the on­set of the rainy sea­son

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