Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Zimbabwe currently not under cyclone threat

by Staff reporter
01 Feb 2022 at 05:28hrs | Views
Zimbabwe is currently not under any threat from Tropical Cyclone Batsirai which is expected to reach Madagascar during the weekend, the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has said.

There has been a lot of anxiety in the country over the path the cyclone is likely to take.

Last week, some parts of Zimbabwe, especially Manicaland province were hit by Tropical Storm Ana, which left a trail of destruction. According to MSD, there were flash floods in Manicaland that destroyed a total of 105 houses as the province received a total of 880mm of rainfall in a short space of time.

In an interview, MSD head of forecasting Mr James Ngoma said as of this coming weekend, Zimbabwe will not be hit by another tropical cyclone.

"We are still monitoring the waves, but we would like to advise the public that Tropical Cyclone Batsirai is likely not to hit the country this weekend," he said.

"Currently, the cyclone is 1 300km from Madagascar and thus 3 000km away from the eastern parts of Zimbabwe and based on its current path, it will reach Madagascar during the weekend and by then it will still be at least 1 500 km away."

Mr Ngoma, however, said the MSD will update the public of any new developments.

"We are still monitoring the movement of the cyclone and we will keep updating the public," he said.

Batsirai is one of the numerous tropical cyclones that have been named in Zimbabwe over the past years.

Batsirai is a Shona word that means help and names like Kundai and Idai have also been given to cyclones in the past.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), it maintains rotating lists of names which are appropriate for each Tropical Cyclone basin provided by weather forecasters from each country at regional level. It said for this year, Zimbabwe has provided two names; Batsirai and Yemurai.

It said if a cyclone is particularly deadly or costly, then its name is retired and replaced by another one.

"Tropical cyclones can last for a week or more; therefore there can be more than one cyclone at a  time. Weather forecasters give each tropical cyclone a name to avoid confusion.

"In general, tropical cyclones are named according to the rules at regional level. In the Atlantic and in the Southern hemisphere (Indian ocean and South Pacific), tropical cyclones receive names in alphabetical order, and women and men's names are alternated.

Nations in the Northern Indian ocean began using a new system for naming tropical cyclones in 2000; the names are listed alphabetically country wise, and are neutral gender wise," said the organisation.

Source - The Chronicle