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Zimbabwe's Meteorological Services Department issues heavy rains warning

by Staff reporter
11 Jan 2024 at 05:15hrs | Views
THE Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has advised that heavy rains in excess of 50mm accompanied by lightning and strong winds are expected along the main watershed, which is the region straddling all major towns from Mutare to Harare, Harare to Bulawayo, Bulawayo to Plumtree and Harare to Masvingo.

The rains are expected to start falling from today up to Wednesday next week.

"The ITCZ [Inter Tropical Convergence Zone] which has been active over the northern parts of the country is expected to combine with a cloud band which is moving from the west to the east covering the whole country and as a result the combined effect of the two should result in precipitation amounts in excess of 50mm in areas along the main watershed," the MSD rains alert said.

The MSD said Zimbabweans should watch out for localised heavy rains (in excess of 50mm) with lightning and hailstorms in some areas.

The departments also warned that the rains, expected to be driven by strong winds, could fell trees, blow off roof tops and cause flash floods.

They also urged people to stay indoors during thunderstorms except in cases of emergency.

The departments also said the moisture content in the atmosphere is set to increase as the cloud band from the West moves further into the country.

"Lightning strikes remain a threat to humans and livestock, as well as property. Heavy rains may reduce visibility, especially at night.

"River and wetlands may be flooded, even by rains from upstream. Excessive moisture may cause poorly constructed buildings to collapse, please reinforce some structures of questionable stability," the MSD said.

It also called on people to avoid crossing flooded rivers, swollen streams, areas where flash flooding has occurred or where flowing water is above ankle height.

"Noting that, a 30cm depth of flowing water may sweep away large vehicles, waiting for the water to subside before attempting to cross, even though flooding is caused by heavy rains that occurred somewhere.

"Do not hide under trees or in isolated sheds during thunderstorms as these are prone to lightning strikes," MSD added.

Source - newsday
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