A fierce and powerful windstorm wreaked havoc in Rwanda’s Nyanza District, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
The unrelenting wind swept through the district, tearing off roofs, uprooting trees, and causing chaos within minutes.
With immense force, it shattered windows and knocked down fences, as authorities have announced millimetres that a high amount of rainfall is expected to range between 200 and 250 millimetres over many parts.
The impact was particularly felt as over 100 houses were demolished, leaving families displaced and struggling to pick up the pieces.
Local authorities swiftly responded to the crisis, coordinating efforts to provide immediate assistance to those affected. Emergency relief teams were dispatched to ensure essential needs such as food, water, and medical supplies were provided to those who lost their homes.
According to the vice mayor in charge of social affairs in the district, authorities have provided temporary shelter for the victims of the disaster.
“We have provided temporary shelter to the families displaced by strong winds as we seek a sustainable response. We also provided them with some basic needs,” she told the New Times, adding that an assessment is still being carried out to know the status of the damages.
Among the casualties of this destructive force were classrooms that had their roofs completely ripped off, such as three classrooms at GS Mugina in the Muyira sector, four classrooms at Mwanabiri Primary School in the Mukingo sector, and one Adventist church.
Also, the wind damaged three electric poles as well as banana plantations, while some houses were also damaged in the Kigoma and Busasamana sectors.
The strong wind on Sunday, October 15, again destroyed six classrooms in the Nyange sector of Ngororero District.
On Monday, October 16, pupils were relocated to Gaseke Parish to be able to continue with their classes while they awaited rehabilitation.
Their learning spaces, once havens of knowledge and growth, now stood exposed to the elements, leaving students and teachers distraught by the loss.
According to the forecast by the Rwanda Meteorology Agency, strong wind speeds ranging between 6 m/s and 12 m/s are expected across the country in October.
Strong wind speeds ranging between 6 and 8 m/s are expected over the central parts of the country. In comparison, the rest of the country is expected to record strong wind speeds ranging between 8 and 10 m/s.
A higher amount of rainfall is expected to range between 200 and 250 millimetres over many parts of Nyamasheke, Rutsiro, and Rubavu districts, western parts of Ngororero, Nyabihu, and Nyamagabe districts, and northern parts of Burera, Musanze, and Rusizi districts in October.
Rainfall between 150 and 200mm is expected in the remaining parts of Western Province, Musanze and Burera districts, the northern parts of Gicumbi, Rulindo, and Gakenke districts, and the central parts of Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru.
A reduced amount of rainfall ranging between 50 and 100mm is expected over many parts of the Eastern Province and the Amayaga region.
The remaining parts of the country are expected to record rainfall ranging between 100 and 150 mm.
According to the authorities, temporary learning spaces were set up to ensure minimal disruption to the education of the affected students.