THE Sizinda Flats resembled a disaster zone yesterday after Wednesday’s night storm ripped the roof off eight blocks of flats.
Twenty-two households were left with no roof over their heads after the asbestos roof was torn off during fierce winds and lashing rain that struck some parts of Bulawayo leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
Bulawayo chief fire officer Richard Peterson said although the strong winds caused massive damage, no one was injured.
“There were eight blocks of flats consisting of 22 houses that lost their roofs to the severe winds,” he said.
One of the affected residents, Tsitsi Chifuga, said there was a very strong wind which blew off the flat’s roof.
“The wind lifted off the asbestos leaving us in the open,” Chifuga said.
She said most property in her house was damaged as it was left exposed to the lashing rain after the roof had been blown off.
Another affected resident Obed Mthunzi said this was not the first time the flats’ roof had been lifted off.
“For the past three years, we have been experiencing such incidents whereby heavy rains destroy our property.
“Last year, households were affected after the roof was torn off by strong winds and this year the number is even higher,” Mthunzi said.
The ward councillor for Sizinda, Reuben Matengu, said the asbestos roofing had placed residents’ lives at risk and needs to be repaired because it is old. The Sizinda Flats residents have appealed to council to repair the roofing before tragedy strikes again.
The Bulawayo Fire Brigade placed temporary plastic material covers over the affected flats.
Peterson also revealed that the fire fighters attended to a number of similar incidents in which severe wind uprooted trees around the city.