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A Chinese citizen was electrocuted and 17 Mozambicans suffered injuries when a violent storm hit Chimoio, capital of the central Mozambican province of Manica, on Tuesday evening.
The Chinese man, who has not yet been identified, died when high winds knocked down an electricity pylon, and he was struck by one of the loose cables. Most of the injuries were caused by falling walls or trees, or other objects tossed around by the wind. One man was struck by lightning and has lost an arm.
The Chimoio district administrator, Daniel Andicene, said the winds reached speeds of 80 kilometres an hour, and 72.5 millimetres of rain fell in the hour or so that the storm lasted.
Damage to pylons and electricity transformers meant that most Chimoio neighbourhoods were deprived of their electricity supply.
“We are working to ascertain the losses”, Andicene told reporters on Wednesday. “We have circulated through several neighbourhoods and found that there are many households who need our support. We are working to see if we can help them”.
The storm destroyed or damaged 25 classrooms, two health units and several government offices, as well as Andicene’s own official residence. The fire brigade was called out to remove fallen tree trunks that were blocking main roads in parts of the city.
The Chimoio community radio station has been forced off the air because the storm knocked down its transmission tower.
The storm also hit Sussundenga, Macate, Vanduzi, Gondola, Guro and Tambara districts. The full extent of the damage here is not yet known, and the provincial director of public works, Eduardo Naietiene, said a full survey of the damage across the province is now under way.
The Manica provincial government met in extraordinary session on Wednesday to discuss its response to the storm, and the measures needed to support those affected.Source: AIM