Lightning claims six more lives in Chipinge

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.