At a funeral ceremony in Binga District, northern Zimbabwe, on Sunday, villagers were thrown into further mourning as six people were killed by lightning strike while three others sustained severe burns.
Since the weekend, heavy rains have reportedly been falling across the country. When it began raining at the village, some of the people attending the funeral took shelter under the tree which was later struck by lightning. The deceased and casualties were among a group of people who took shelter beneath a tree during a rain storm.
The villagers were attending the funeral ceremony of one of their elder’s sister (Chief Siachilaba) when tragedy struck on the fourth day of her funeral rites according to traditional customs.
An ambulance crew immediately came to the scene and confirmed the six already dead. Thankfully, the casualties were immediately rushed to Binga District Hospital and have since been discharged.
The villagers have been thrown into more mourning and shock since the incident. Village head, Joe Mudimba, said his village was going through one of its darkest moments following the tragedy.
Mr Mudimba said; “We’re in deep shock because of what happened in our village. This is one of the darkest moments in the village and entire district. As I’m speaking right now all the shops in the village are closed because everyone is grieving. It’s sad that we lost mostly elderly people including a veterinary officer.”
A Zimbabwean local media reports that this is however not the first time the country is recording such an incident, as there has been a number of lightning deaths owing to people seeking shelter from heavy rains.
It further reports that 30 families in Harare’s Budiriro suburb had to be evacuated after the Marimba River burst its banks and flooded their homes.