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Zim braces for another cyclone

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GOVERNMENT yesterday said it has escalated its preparedness as Cyclone Alvaro swilled off the Mozambique coast.

The Tropical storm formed off the Mozambican coast near Beira and headed towards Madagascar where it has since made landfall. But fears abound it may make a U-turn heading back for the Mozambiquean coast.

The Civil Protection Department director Nathan Nkomo yesterday said that tropical storms were full of surprises since they are a natural phenomena, hence the need to prepare.

“Given the time we are in at the moment, we are in the rainfall season and we remain activated. What we only need to do because of the Cyclone Alvaro is to escalate our preparedness to a greater level now given that we are at the peak of the cyclone period,” he said.

“l have talked (to) the meteorological department and they said the trajectory is going eastwards towards Madagascar, but we cannot take chances.

“It’s a natural phenomenon. Look at what Cyclone Freddy did to Malawi, destroying unexpectedly. The way Cyclone Alvaro is going might not be the final one,” Nkomo said.

Meteorological Services Department director Rebecca Manzou said they were also monitoring the situation.

“We are monitoring the situation and we will issue a statement on the issue,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FewsNet) said Zimbabwe faces the risk of landslides given the current on-going rains.

“Flooding is ongoing in north western and southern Angola. Heavy rain is forecast in eastern southern Africa, increasing risks for flooding across south-eastern Zambia, northern Zimbabwe, western Mozambique and central Madagascar,” Fewsnet said on its global summary from December, 2023 to January this year.

“Next week, heavy and above-average rainfall is forecast in northern and southern Africa, including northern Angola, Zambia, Malawi, northern Zimbabwe, northern Mozambique, Madagascar, central South Africa and Lesotho.”

Heavy rains which have hit Zimbabwe so far have left a trail of destruction in Harare’s Budiriro 5B Extension and paddocks area of Kuwadzana.

More than 100 people were left homeless and had to be evacuated to safer places. More than 1 529 families were affected countrywide, while 98 schools and 11 clinics were also damaged.

Several cyclonic storms have hit Zimbabwe in recent years with Cyclone Idai leaving a trail of destruction after killing an estimated 600 people in Chipinge and Chimanimani districts in Manicaland province.

Cyclone Idai also affected Masvingo and Mashonaland East provinces. NewsDay

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