Cyclone Chalane to bring continuous rains: Met Dept

Elita Chikwati 

Senior Reporter 

Tropical Depression Chalane is now in the Mozambique Channel and expected to intensify back into a tropical storm bringing near continuous rains over most of Zimbabwe from tomorrow to Friday with heavy downpours of more than 50mm in 24 hours expected over high ground along the Eastern Highlands and the main watershed. 

The Meteorological Services Department warned yesterday said that there would probably be flash floods in areas of poor drainage, rising rivers and reduced visibility during some sharp downpours. 

“Flash flooding in areas of poor drainage as well as along river basins plus mudslides and landslides as well as collapse of walls, due to excessive moisture, remain probable. 

“Tropical Depression Chalane entered warmer water of the Mozambique Channel where it is expected to re-intensify into a tropical storm similar to Cyclone Dineo. The system should sweep across the country from Wednesday into the New Year. 

This should give continuous rain over much of the country, with localised heavier downpours (in excess of 50 mm in 24 hours) probable especially over high ground, areas along the main watershed into the Eastern Highlands. 

“These rains should ease off as we get into the weekend,” said the department. 

Cyclone Dineo was a February 2017 cyclone and tropical storm that caused heavy rains in south eastern Zimbabwe. 

The actual landfall of Chalane in Mozambique was not precisely known yesterday. There were some indications that it could come ashore well to the north of Beira, which would mean more land to dissipate the strength of the tropical storm before it reached Zimbabwe. But the large clound bands associated with a tropical storm or tropical depression normally bring rain to a far wider area than the actual point of landfall.

Chalane at its worst on landfall will have winds less than half the velocity of those of Cyclone Idai last year.

The met department urged the public to keep informed and listen to updates. “Have a contingency plan in place in case of adverse weather. 

“Know your escape route to the nearest emergency centre if need be and have emergency numbers close. 

“Have a few provisions, first aid kit, torch, essential documents and medication in a waterproof-easy to carry bag or satchel,” said the MSD. 

Government has been putting emergency systems and services on alert since last week.

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