Zimbabwe issues floods alert as heavy rains expected over the weekend
The good rains continue but the Meteorological Services Department has warned of localised heavy rains in excess of 50mm and flash flooding in areas with saturated soils, on wetlands, on impervious ground and next to rivers in most parts of the country from yesterday to Monday next week.
The department said heavy rains were expected mainly in the southern half of the country.
“The effects of a cut-off low, expected from Thursday into the weekend, should be felt in most parts of the country with heavy rains mainly expected in the southern half of the country.
“Rainfall amounts in excess of 65mm in 24 hours with a high probability of flash floods in the low-lying areas are anticipated. This is normal for this time of the year, especially in a season that is expected to have above normal to normal rains,” said the statement.
The department also warned of blown off rooftops and fallen trees owing to strong winds adding that open drains and potholes could be covered in water.
The department urged the public to stay indoors during thunderstorms unless there were emergency situations. People were also discouraged from crossing rivers in flood either on foot or in vehicles since the strong flows could sweep them away and visibility could also be affected.
Disaster mitigation agencies such as the Department of Civil Protection remain on high alert as heavy rains continue falling.
Civil protection director Mr Nathan Nkomo told The Herald that they were currently mobilising grain relief and tents for temporary shelter to affected people in Epworth and Gokwe.
Heavy rains this season while welcome to almost all, have caused isolated floods resulting in the loss of crops, livestock, damage to homes, schools, clinics and other key infrastructure in the country.
Civil protection experts largely blame substandard building, although those who have built on wetlands or too close to rivers have also had serious problems.
Farmers have been urged to work closely with agricultural extension workers in their areas to devise strategies for managing any leaching.
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