Sandy: Kenyans in US Turn to Social Media
Kenyans living in the United States have turned to social networking groups to check on their friends and relatives following a devastating hurricane.
Hurricane Sandy hit the American Atlantic coast on Monday.
The Kenyans who also sought to asses the impact of the hurricane, recounted where they were and how the storm affected them.
The hurricane has caused flooding and power outages, interrupting the lives of a millions of people living in New York and New Jersey.
In one group where members indicate how the storm affected them, John Wafula tells his colleagues that he is doing fine despite damage made by the storm to trees in his neighbourhood in Pennsylvania.
He also shares that another Kenyan, Namulunda Lyiambilah, is also safe in New York.
“Please count me among the living here on Wafulasky Islands on the outskirts of PA. Lots of fallen trees, but never lost power. You may also mark Mwalimu Kukhu Namulunda Lyiambilah in NY present as well. She called me this morning,” Wafula says.
Another Kenyan, Mitati Kinisu, tells his friends that the storm passed some 4.5 miles away from him at Chicopee and destroyed property at Ahmerst.
“In Springfield, we felt nothing other than the rain and wind. Everything is normal and children are back to school and all other institutions are going on with their businesses. It’s nice to hear Wandabwa and Chesoli are OK despite the destruction in their areas,” Kinisu says in his message.
Another user in the same group, Ben Wandabwa, expresses frustration at the difficulty in communicating with his relatives.
“Given the status of our communication, I’m not even sure you will get this message. What was an exuberant day became a nightmare. Six hours later I have no electric power. My cell phone service is sporadic. I’m having to charge my phone by running my car.
“Kesho I’m waking up with trees all over my property. The biggest tragedy is, I can’t reach my loved ones other than my wife Jane and our last born Nasike. We are however safe but without our normal conveniences,” Wandabwa writes.
Jane Wafula replies to Wandabwa, encouraging him and consoling him over the mess caused by the storm. “Good luck on cleaning your yard. It’s gonna be a lot of work. Will your city help you or you gonna have to buy your own chain saw and do the work yourself?
“Do you still have a lot of water on the ground there? I hope you did not loose lots of trees. However better the trees than human life,” Ms Wafula says.
Taking off my roof
She adds that she hopes that there isn’t much of Sandy still looming in the clouds or on her trails back there.
“Now I can lie down without fear of her taking off with my roof. I experienced power outage too, but I think it was just a surge for few minutes and it came back on.
“My house, poor house, got some good yanking from Sandy. Made me think it might give in. The wild winds that came with her were fierce. Thank God she’s done with us and we are alive. Phew!” she says.
The storm which has even paralysed transport and communication systems, led to the closure of Kenya missions in the United States on Tuesday (READ: Kenya Missions in US close over Storm Sandy).
“The Kenya Missions had closed for the day (Tuesday) and information reaching us indicates that the missions could open as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday) after monitoring the situation,” said a press statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kenyans living in the US have been asked to contact the missions for any assistance.
According to Macharia Kamau, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York, “the mission’s main concern is the safety and well-being of Kenyans in view of the current low temperatures following the massive power blackouts caused by power cuts to hundreds of thousands of people following the storm.”
The ministry is also monitoring the situation and receiving reports from the missions in the aftermath of Sandy, one of the biggest storms to hit the country.
Source: Daily Nation