14 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Met Office Issues Flood Warning

The Meteorological Services Department has warned people in the Mashonaland, Manicaland and Matabeleland North provinces to brace for heavy rains and violent thunderstorms expected from yesterday up to Saturday.

The warning comes in the wake of recent heavy rains in these areas.

Met Department head; public weather services Mr Tich Zinyemba said more heavy rains in excess of 50 millimetres in 24 hours were expected in Matabeleland North, Mashonaland provinces, north of the Midlands and Manicaland.

He said reports had already indicated that areas like the Save Catchment and probably Chikwarakwara were being affected by rising water in the Save and Limpopo rivers.

"Accordingly given that there has been so much rain already this season, there will be heightened risk of potential flooding and violent thunderstorms (strong winds and possibly hail)," he said.

Mr Zinyemba said the remainder of the provinces on the other hand should continue to experience relatively sunny and dry weather conditions although sporadic showers or thunder showers would occur from time to time.

The department warned the public against attempting to cross flooded rivers or bridges.

Motorists were urged to drive carefully on roads that are already damaged by incessant rains.

"There is danger of electricity poles falling over given the soaked ground thus increasing the risk of electrocution when the cables are handled carelessly. All outdoor activities should be planned with the weather in mind," he said.

"The Meteorological Services Department encourages the public to take the necessary measures to safeguard life and property in those areas that will be affected."

The public was also advised to contact local offices of the Civil Protection Unit or relevant authorities for advice.

Zimbabwe is expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall during the second half of the rainfall season which starts in January and stretches to April.

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