Zimbabwe: Hailstorms Destroy Property

Hailstorms that swept over some parts of Mutasa and Nyanga districts since Tuesday left a trail of destruction to property and infrastructure.

The storms were first reported in Odzi on Tuesday where a whole roof of a two-classroom block at St Francis Matanga Primary School were blown off.

Part of the roof on a girls' toilet was also blown off.

There was also some damage to roads and trees that were felled by the storm before it moved to Nyanga. Areas surrounding Regina Coeli Mission were hit by the hailstorms from around 3.30pm on Wednesday until the early hours of Thursday.

Civil Protection Unit director, Mr Nathan Nkomo said his office was still to be furnished with finer details of the hailstorm and referred further questions to acting Manicaland Provincial Development Co-ordinator, Mr Edgars Seenza. Mr Seenza said he was waiting for a report from the Nyanga District Development Co-ordinator.

Roman Catholic Diocesan education secretary, Mr Lawrence Chibvuri said the storm damaged two classrooms at Regina Coeli Primary School.

"I received a report that two classrooms were damaged. Part of the roof on one of the classrooms was blown away and there were some structural damages to the office area and the other classroom," he said.

"At St Francis, the roof of a two-classroom block was also blown off, but the trusses were not affected. We will need to move swiftly to repair these damages before schools open so that we do not disturb lessons."

Manicaland provincial meteorological officer, Mr Lucas Murambi said Nyanga had received about 15mm of rain before the hailstorm.

"Nyanga is a generally cold area, but in the afternoon temperatures were relatively high and we had convective clouds resulting in thunderstorms. We had very little rain, but there was a lot of hailstones instead. Temperatures decreased causing the hailstones to stick to the ground for a longer period. That is why people woke up to see the piles of hailstones on the ground. They took longer to dissolve since temperatures were still very low," he said.

He said his office had not yet received detailed reports on the extent of damages caused by the hailstorm.

Images of the hailstorm has since gone viral on the social media with villagers expressing shock, saying they had not witnessed something of that magnitude in the area.

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