The Government has activated emergency response mechanisms countrywide after the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) issued an alert for heavy rains and strong winds in parts of Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West, starting today.
This morning the Emergency Service Sub-Committee will convene a meeting to deliberate on an effective response to avoid loss of lives and livelihoods witnessed during Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani and other parts of Manicaland.
The sub-committee is composed of the Air Force of Zimbabwe – who played a critical role in evacuating people last time, Police, the Department of Civil Protection (DCP), MSD and other partners.
As of yesterday, structures had been activated in Manicaland, Mashonaland Provinces and across Masvingo to be ready for the worst possible outcomes.
Those left homeless by the Cyclone Idai Storm have all been evacuated, DCP director Mr Nathan Nkomo gave details of the emergency response plan.
“We have activated structures in Manicaland, Masvingo and some districts in Mashonaland Central and other parts of the country.
“Our teams have petty cash for emergency response purposes, and we are also taking advantage of schools which are still closed for emergency evacuation centres,” said Mr Nkomo.
“I am happy to say all those who were living in tents after Cyclone Idai have been relocated to Runyararo formerly West-end farm, a new settlement built to accommodate the victims.
“Tomorrow (today) morning we are meeting as the emergency services sub-committee and we will be giving details of the response plan,” Mr Nkomo said.
The alert issued by MSD follows an overload depression crossing from Madagascar, entering into Mozambique with heavy rainfall.
The depression started yesterday and experts say it can strengthen to a tropical storm before striking Northern parts of Mozambique today.
Mozambique together with Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia are threatened by flooding rains this week.
But, speaking to the Herald yesterday MSD’s Mr James Ngoma warned of heavy rains but allayed fears of floods.
“Heavy rains are expected in Manicaland, Mashonaland East and parts of Mashonaland West, these areas will receive an estimated 30mm,” he said.
The alert issued by MSD yesterday warned of heavy rains anticipated up to Thursday occasioned by the tropical depression on the Mozambican channel.
People are being urged to secure all loose items including roof tops, stay indoors during thunderstorms and heavy rains.
“Only move to higher ground when advised by Civil Protection Units Stay informed through official Meteorological Services Department platforms,” reads part of the communique from MSD.
“The Tropical Depression is now evolving in the Mozambique Channel and has been gradually intensifying for the past few hours due to warm waters of the Channel.”
Southern African countries are also issuing warnings of the same. Malawi said.
“The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) would like to inform the Malawi nation that Tropical Depression which is an initial stage in the development of a Tropical Cyclone has developed in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar on Friday the 21st January 2022.”
Mauritius Meteorological Services also issued a warning to its citizenry.
“The tropical disturbance in the Mozambique channel may intensify further at night. It is moving in a West North Westerly direction at about 20 km/h.”