Namibia: Violent Storm Wreaks Havoc in Tsumeb

A HEAVY storm accompanied by strong winds and lightning, hit Tsumeb this evening at about 18h00 leaving a trail of destruction in the copper town.

The storm uprooted trees, some falling onto houses, walls and vehicles. The damage was experienced all over the town.

The violent storm that lasted about 10 minutes, left four families in the Endobo compound homeless after a big tree fell onto their flats. In the Kuvikiland informal settlement, zinc sheets from shacks lay scattered in the streets. In the town area, some of the oldest trees were broken while others were uprooted, strewn all over and blocked streets.

"The storm uprooted some of the oldest trees in the town, which are over 100 years old. Two people sustained minor injuries and are being treated at the Tsumeb state hospital. We have not received any news of fatalities so far," said Tsumeb town council's Strategic Liaison Officer, Stella Imalwa-Nangolo.

Imalwa-Nangolo said the affected families of Endobo compound have already found alternative accommodation for the night with friends and families.

"The town council together with Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb will have an emergency meeting in the morning to map out the way forward, as we are expecting more rain in the next few days," she said.

Beverly Tjitamunisa, a resident of the town said the storm took them by surprise.

"I was taking my afternoon nap when my landlord came to wake me up to move my car, which was parked in the driveway. A tree fell in our yard but luckily it didn't hit my car," she said.

Electricity went off in some parts of the town for a while but was restored, apart for the areas that are heavily affected.

Imalwa-Nangolo said the damage assessment will be done in the morning.

"The municipality's emergency team will clean up the fallen trees in the morning and the management will also assess the extent of the damage," said Imalwa-Nangolo.

This is the second emergency to hit Tsumeb in a space of four days. The town has since last week been experiencing water shortages caused by a malfunctioning motor of the water pump.

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