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Met issues flood warning

by Emilia Zindi
01 Feb 2015 at 08:26hrs | Views
The Department of Meteorological Services has warned of flooding as heavy rainfall is expected from today in the Mashonaland, Matabeleland North, Midlands and Manicaland provinces.

Flood-prone areas such as Muzarabani and Tsholotsho have been advised to be on high alert. Met Department head of public weather services Mr Tichaona Zinyemba said the heavy rains will continue to Friday.

"Uprooting of trees and damage to infrastructure cannot be ruled out with this type of rainfall intensity. Traditionally, flood-prone areas will be more vulnerable and at heightened risk with the department continuing to monitor the weather and issue the necessary updates," he warned.

Mr Zinyemba urged the relevant authorities to get weather forecast updates to ensure proper planning to avert disasters caused by flooding.

"Therefore, people should exercise caution at night when approaching low-lying bridges as well as not to take shelter under trees during thunderstorms as there is enhanced risk of being struck by lightning," he said.

Mr Zinyemba warned motorists against parking their vehicles under trees as these could fall. Some areas have recorded heavy falls already, such as Buffalo Range (98mm), Mukandi (56mm), Masvingo and Hwange (32mm), Lupane and Gokwe (31mm), and Guruve (24mm) in the week to January 30, 2015.

"The flooding that has occurred in Malawi and Mozambique means there will be increased flow of water into Cabora Bassa Dam. This is likely to put pressure onto the dam resulting in back flow along the Zambezi River.

"As a consequence, Muzarabani and other flood prone areas are potentially at risk of flooding," he said.

Recently, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society reported that 20 houses were destroyed while 10 people died in floods across the country.

A United Nations report said the worst affected provinces were Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Midlands.

Preliminary assessments showed that approximately 6 000 people (about 1 200 households) were affected and 2 500 people were in urgent need of assistance.

The recent floods in Malawi left 200 000 people displaced and resulted in 50 deaths, another 150 missing.

Malawi's Embassy in Zimbabwe has appealed for assistance.

In a statement on Friday, the embassy said: "The Republic of Malawi is appealing to all well-wishers for financial and material assistance to alleviate the suffering of the affected victims."

Donations can be dropped at the Malawi Embassy in Alexandra Park, Harare.

Source - Sundaymail

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