Last Updated: Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lightning strike in Zimbabwe kills 7 including six children

A single bolt of lightning has claimed lives of six children and a woman in Zimbabwe. The seven were sheltering in two thatched huts when the lightning struck in Mugwinyi village in Bikita districton Monday.

The seven victims, most of them minors, were at their thatched homestead when a bolt of lightning "suddenly struck", killing them instantly, AllAfrica has written quoting the National police spokesperson, Charity Charamba.

Police named the deceased as Marian Nebvuma, Fadzai Chenjerai, 11, Gloria Chenjerai, 5, Odrey Masunda, 4, Esther Muchakagara, 5, Claudia Mugwinyi, 4, and Crywind Mugwinyi, 6.

According to the metrological department, lightning strikes normally kill up to 100 people each year, mostly rural children.

Zimbabwe is even cited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the country where a single bolt of lightning claimed its largest number of victims. This occurred in a village near the eastern border town of Mutare in 1975 when 21 people were killed while sheltering in a hut.

Children seem to be more vulnerable  to natural disasters in Zimbabwe. A research article published in Journal of Disaster Risk Studies has shown the flood disasters leading to children’s poor academic performance in Muzarabani District of Zimbabwe.