March 15, 2013

Cyclone hits Kalangala,200 left Homeless

Alanding Site in Kalangala
Alanding Site in Kalangala

Up to 200 people are homeless after a tropical Cyclone swept through Kalangala islands, the first in more than 50 years.

The incident happened at about 4am on Thursday at Lujaabwa landing site Maziinga Sub County in Kalangala district. The area is found on Mazinga, one of the distant Islands in the district, close to the Uganda-Tanzanian border.

Ibrahim Kasinde, the local defense Secretary tells Uganda Radio Network that the cyclone with very strong winds rotated around their landing site for about 30minutes. He says they have counted 10 people mostly children who sustained serious injuries after falling debris fell on them.

According to Kasinde, who is one of the affected residents, the cyclone known in Luganda as Olusoke came with heavy rains and started devastating their homes.

Ibrahim Ssenyonga, the Red Cross Branch Manager for Kalangala district, who has visited the place, says currently an estimated 200 families are homeless after the cyclone destroyed their houses. He explains several houses were swept into Lake Victoria leaving residents in the cold.
Ssenyonga says the affected families have been relocated to incomplete structures of Lujaabwa Health Centre II for their safety because they don’t have any other alternative accommodation. According to Ssenyonga, the affected families are in urgent need of relief because they don’t have anything since almost everything was blown away into the waters.

Willy Lugoloobi, the Kalangala LC5 Chairman says the cyclone is the first of its kind in more than 50 years. He says the district had always registered some winds but this cyclone which shook off entire landing site was the strongest in decades.

Lugoloobi has asked the office of the Prime Minister to intervene and provide relief items to the affected families saying the district is overwhelmed by the number of the affected people because they can’t afford to supply them with relief.

He says the affected landing site is currently flat with no house standing.

A cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth.  This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds and rotates counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and Clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth.

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