20 December 2011
Extreme Weather in South Africa on Thursday, 15 December, 2011
Image: Google Maps (Click on image for larger view.)
Nealy 50 families from Tshikhwarani, Manavhela, Muduluni and Madodonga in the Kutama area were left stranded last Thursday afternoon, when a big storm, accompanied by rain, damaged their homes and uprooted trees. Mrs Josephina Mbedzi of Tshikhwarani lost her one-roomed house and all the goods inside were damaged. “When the storm started, I was inside the house. I thought of hiding inside the wardrobe, but I became very afraid. The wind blew the roof off and I was left in the roofless ruin,” she said. “All my furniture, blankets and groceries were damaged and I do not have money to replace or repair them,” she added. “I did not sustain any major injuries, but I am extremely shocked,” she added. According to Mrs Kutama Maseakhole of Muduluni, 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. The situation worsened for her, as deafening sounds started coming from the roof.
She indicated that her RDP house's windows were broken by the storm. She added that the walls started to shake and the roof rattled and shook violently. The roof sheets were also torn off. Most of the victims are from the poor rural area, where most of the people are unemployed. The spokesperson of the Makhado Municipality, Mr Louis Bobodi 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. The initial estimated damage caused by the storm is close to R700 000, but observers say it can be more. "We urge community members to help one another and our condolences and sympathy go to all affected families,” Bobodi said. Last Friday, many villagers were still drying out mattresses, blankets, clothes and furniture. Some property was rendered unusable. At Tshikwarani, 23 houses were damaged, with eight at Muduluni, 15 at Madodonga and one at Manavhela suffering the same fate.