8 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Nation Warned About Flood Dangers After Kombi Washed Away

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle S/Vanguard
File photo: The rains have caused widespread damage to roads leaving some areas impassable.

Zimbabweans are being warned about the dangers of potential flooding in the coming weeks, as a search continues for four people suspected to have drowned in Chiredzi.

Police have launched a search for the bodies after a kombi was washed away while crossing the flooded Runde River at Chilonga Bridge in Chiredzi on Sunday. The kombi was being towed by a tractor which was also washed away.

Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Peter Zhanero said the accident happened after the kombi driver, identified as Forward Mapengo, tried to force his way across the bridge by being towed by the tractor.

"The driver, who had four passengers on board, approached the flooded bridge and realised that it was impassable. He tried to cross by being towed by a tractor which was going in the same direction. However, while they were halfway through, both the tractor and the kombi were washed away," Zhanero said.

He said three passengers in the kombi, including the driver, drowned while another one who was on the tractor suffered the same fate.

"Three people who were in the kombi drowned while one managed to swim to safety. Of the four people who were travelling on the tractor, three managed to escape while one could not make it," Zhanero said, adding the police sub-aqua unit was still searching for the missing bodies.

The Met office has since warned that heavy flooding is expected to affect parts of the country in the coming week. Senior Meteorologist Jonathan Chifuna is quoted by the ZBC news as warning people "to be extra cautious as we predict upcoming floods which might be directly linked to the current wet spell."

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