FAST and strong winds that have been lashing coastal areas and the Indian Ocean will continue causing havoc on Friday, the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has warned.
The weather agency has confirmed that the high and above average strong winds started on Wednesday in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam and alerts were posted in the media.The warning comes in the wake of a marine vessel accident that involved MV Skagit, a passenger boat owned by Seagull Transport Company which was travelling from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar.
The boat was hit by high waves and powerful winds before it sank near Chumbe Islet in Zanzibar. The area is about 14 knots from Zanzibar harbour.The TMA acting Director General, Dr Hamza Kabelwa, said that since Wednesday the winds were stronger than usual due to high air pressure.
Following the marine forecasts, TMA issued warnings, explaining that the situation would continue until Thursday evening, when the strong winds would ebb slightly.
Dr Kabelwa said that in Dar es Salaam region and Pemba Island, strong winds erupted on Wednesday and were travelling at 40 km per hour, while in Zanzibar from noon to 3:00 pm on the same day the winds' pace quickened from 40 km per hour to 50 km per hour.
He said such strong winds are above average, urging people to be cautious while in the sea, noting that this includes boats.
He said that since the weather threat was noticed TMA tried to warn all marine transport stakeholders including boats operating in the sea.
The TMA marine forecast for on Thursday noted that there will be partly cloudy conditions and sunny periods in Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Unguja and Pemba, but there will be strong winds and high weaves along the coastal area.The maximum height of the waves in the mentioned areas was estimated to be 2.5 metres high while the state of the sea would be rough.