Zimbabwe: Hailstorm Hits St Augustine's High School

15 October 2019

St Augustine's High School in Penhalonga was last week hit by a hailstorm which resulted in extensive damage to property, while some students sustained injuries.

The school has since appealed for assistance to rehabilitate buildings that were affected.

The school is also appealing for stationery.

The damage, most of it infrastructural, is estimated to be roughly $2 million.

St Augustine's High School head Reverend Sidney Chirombe said the injured students had been treated at Mutare Provincial Hospital and discharged.

"The worst could have happened. We thank God. It started off like normal rains.

"It was around 6pm, then it stopped for a while. It resumed at around 7pm, with gentle winds that soon grew to whirlwind-type fury.

"With bouts of heavy wind and rains accompanied by hailstones, a mini cyclone was evident.

"Old asbestos sheets and roofs collapsed. There was chaos for most of the night around the eye of activity.

"The girls' hostels and dormitories and most of the teachers' houses were untouched," he said.

He said two staff houses were destroyed and one ancillary staff member lost 25 chickens which were ready for the market.

Rev Chirombe said the school had to move Forms 2, 3 and 4 boys in three dormitories to other dormitories for the night.

He also appealed to parents with children at the school not to panic.

"Yes, the hailstorm disturbed the school.

"We need urgent repairs and replacement of the boys' stationery and other items like linen and blankets that were destroyed.

"This is examination time. We must focus on exams, and nothing else," said Rev Chirombe.

The bishop of the Anglican Diocese-Manicaland, Bishop Erick Ruwona, and a team from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education have since visited the school to ascertain the damage caused by the hailstorm.

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