At least 300 households in Traditional Authority Katuli in Mangochi have been rendered homeless while six people have been injured following strong winds that the area experienced Saturday evening.
Additionally, the winds, which were also accompanied by rains, have also damaged three primary schools namely Mpwakata, Kwisimba and Luchimwa. Two mosques and Katuli Market have also been affected.
According to locals, the winds started at around 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
“Initially, we thought it was just an ordinary fog but we were surprised to see that it was a strong wind which was moving like a whirlwind. People panicked as some rushed into their houses while others held on to trees for fear of being blown away by it,” Asiyatu Amaru, one of the victims said.
Mima Alli, who fractured her backbone and is now unable to walk or sit down said that she met her fate when she sought refuge in her house before it was blown away by the strong winds.
“I hid inside my house but the house was eventually destroyed by the winds. In the process, part of it fell on me and my son and we both sustained injuries in the process. I am in real pain at the moment,” she recounts.
Mangochi District Disaster and Risk Management Affairs Officer, Carlo Chabwera, confirmed the incidence but she said she is currently waiting for the affected people to report to her office before doing anything.
“I was told by the District Commissioner about the accident but we are currently waiting for the people to give us a report so that we can go and do our assessment,” Chabwera said.
Member of Parliament for the area Abubakar M’baya has since appealed for well-wishers to come to the rescue of the people.
He said there is need to provide shelter and other sanitary materials to the affected people while waiting to reconstruct their houses.
“More of the affected people are living in bad conditions and the area risks an outbreak of cholera because toilets have also been affected. We cannot keep the people in schools because it is school time and some of the schools have also been affected so the situation is critical,” M’baya said.
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