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Midnight storm kills one in Siaya, leaves 200 villagers homeless

NYANZA
By Isaiah Gwengi | February 17th 2015
Children play under a collapsed roof top following a heavy windstorm that left a trail of destruction in Mageta island. PHOTO/ISAIAH GWENGI.

SIAYA COUNTY: One person was confirmed dead and at least 200 families were rendered homeless following a heavy storm in Mahanga sub-location, Mageta Island of Siaya County on Sunday.

The windstorm which started sometimes past midnight is said to have blown off roof tops and swept away crops along the beaches.

Confirming the incident, the area Assistant Chief Cornel Awuondo told The Standard that the residents met the misfortune following a heavy downpour which was accompanied by the storm.

“The incident happened past midnight when most of the people were asleep with nowhere to seek help,” said Mr Awuondo.

More than 10 churches had their roof tops blown off while some collapsed.

The administrator said most of the families sought shelter under trees on the upper part of the island.

“The families here are now in dire need of humanitarian support since the overnight storm left a trail of destruction,” said the administrator.

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Awuondo said fishermen and family members of a 27-year-old fisherman who drowned following the heavy storm are still camping at Mahanga beach of Lake Victoria as they search for his body.

“The deceased, Denis Otieno Bonde, was in the company of his three colleagues before he slipped off the boat and drowned,” said Awuondo.

Juliana Angule, 36, whose house was destroyed, said the incident happened when she had already slept with her four children.

“I realised that the roof was leaking and when I lit my lamp to check what was happening, I found one side of the roof had been blown away,” Angule said adding that she sought refuge in the cattle pen.

Siaya County Woman Representative Christine Ombaka and area MCA Willis Ochieng who visited the affected families appealed to the Government and humanitarian agencies to support the affected families.

“This is a disaster that nobody was prepared for and we are appealing to well-wishers to come to the aid of the victims with food, clothes and tents for shelter,” Dr Ombaka said.

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