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News - Date: 12 October 2017
Written by: Kaizer Nengovhela / Viewed: 2158
More than 500 families from several villages in the Sinthumule area were left stranded last Thursday evening, when a big storm, accompanied by rain, damaged their homes and uprooted trees.
The storm destroyed roofs of hundreds of houses and even school buildings were severely damaged. Madabani Primary School, Swobani High School and a shop at Madabani were among the places that reported extensive damage.
Two people from Gogobole were injured during the incident and taken for treatment to the Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital. Residents, whose houses have been damaged, were seen trying to fix and replace the corrugated iron roofs. Many of them have lost all their belongings in the violent storm.
On Sunday another storm hit the Vuwani area. The areas where damages were reported, include Tshino, Mabidi, Mphambo, Halahala, Mukhomi and Matsakali, all falling under the Lim 345 Municipality. Maramanzhi, Dovho, Masisi, Rangani and Muele B, which fall under the Musina Municipality reported losses and in the Thulamela Municipal area villages such as Makuya and Radali were damaged.
Earlier this week some of the storm victims complained that they have not yet been assisted. Most of the victims are from poor rural areas, where most of the people are unemployed.
The spokesperson for the Vhembe Municipality, Mr Matodzi Ralushai, said that the situation was very bad. They had already sent members of the disaster management team to assess the damage and to assist the affected families. Ralushai said that they will soon activate a joint operation centre to offer relief to the storm victims.
He said they had distributed food parcels to the affected families, including maize meal, cooking oil, beans and blankets. He appealed to those whose houses were damaged by the storm to contact the headman or ward councillors to register their damage.
A Gogobole village resident, Evelyn Sithagu, was sleeping in her four-roomed house with her five children and her husband when parts of the walls fell on her. She is among those who were injured.
Sithagu is pleading for assistance. “I am feeling pains all over my body. I have received stitches on my back and my ear. What happened is that the roof was blown away and then I went back to the house to save the children as I could not leave them there. As I was doing that a wall fell on me. All our food is wet we do not have a place to sleep,” she said.
According to Mr Khathutshelo of Madabani, whose RDP house was severely damaged, the wind swept through the village, leaving everyone trying to take cover. Soon big raindrops pelted down. This was followed by loud cracks of thunder and streaks of lightning, which lit the darkened neighbourhood.
He said that his RDP house’s windows were broken by the storm. He added that the walls started to shake and the roof rattled and shook violently. The roof sheets were also torn off.
Eskom employees are also hard at work in the affected villages fixing the damaged electricity infrastructure.
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The house of this granny at Ravele was damaged during the storm.
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.