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Flood-prone Areas On High Alert As Met Office Forecasts Heavy Downpours

3 months agoWed, 27 Dec 2023 05:14:34 GMT
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Flood-prone Areas On High Alert As Met Office Forecasts Heavy Downpours

The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has urged communities in flood-prone areas to be on high alert as heavy rains coupled with hailstorms are expected throughout the country until 30 December 2023.

In a recent statement, the Meteorological Service Department (MSD) said heavy rains are expected in the northern parts of Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Harare, before spreading across the country by Saturday.

The Met Department warned that low-lying areas such as Muzarabani and the Zambezi Valley among other areas were at a high risk of flooding.

According to the Chronicle, in the Matabeleland region, Tsholotsho and Binga have pockets that are always susceptible to flooding, while in Bulawayo, areas that include parts of Nkulumane, Nketa and Cowdray Park suburbs often experience flooding during heavy storms.

The MSD said an anticipated cloud band that would bring along heavy rains landed in the country yesterday and the Matabeleland region received the heavier rains. It said:

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The much-anticipated cloud band has fallen into Zimbabwe and this morning the western half of the country recorded some significant falls. The highest measured amounts of rainfall were at; Bulawayo Goetz Observatory 31mm, Binga 21mm, Lupane 15mm, Victoria Falls 14mm, Kariba 13mm and Joshua Nkomo International Airport 10mm. Meanwhile, the cloud band is sweeping across the country from the West to the East.

The western parts of the country should be affected first then by 30 December the whole country should have been affected. Localised heavy downpours with rainfall above 50mm in 24 hours are anticipated in some places with strong winds, lightning and hailstorms.

All areas are expected to receive localised rainfall amounts of 50mm or more in 24 hours and flooding is probable in low-lying areas such as the Muzarabani, Save, and Zambezi valley.

The MSD warned members of the public against crossing flooded rivers, saying people can be swept away by water above their ankles while a 30cm depth of flowing water can even sweep away large vehicles.

The MSD also urged the public to avoid being in fields, hilltops, tall trees, and bodies of water and remain indoors during thunderstorms to avoid being struck by lightning.

Meanwhile, the CPU, which deals with natural disasters in the country, said it has activated all its sub-national structures to deal with rain-related eventualities. CPU director Nathan Nkomo said:

As per our tradition, we have activated all our sub-national structures and we have done our educational awareness campaigns. We usually say if you see your programme being adopted by traditional leaders then you would be satisfied.

So we have communicated with the traditional leaders’ structures on issues governing disasters.

We might not have given them adequate resources but it is very very critical information spreads in communities.

It is our motto that disaster prevention begins with information and we have spread the information.

Zimbabwe is poorly prepared for natural disasters such as floods due to the underfunding of the CPU and there is an acute shortage of equipment to rescue victims.

More: Pindula News

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