Heavy rains sweep away bridge, damage 19 houses
A bridge was swept away while a number of houses collapsed and roads damaged mainly in Manicaland due to heavy rains caused by the overland Tropical Depression Ana.
Muchira Bridge in Chimanimani’s Ward 22, which connects with Ward 21, was extensively damaged by the rains while Tombo-Magadzire road in Nyanga district is now impassable.
The Eastern Highlands experienced the highest rainfall, with some areas recording above 200mm.
The Civil Protection Unit continues to assess the extent of damage caused by the Overland Tropical Depression Ana.
District Development Coordinator for Nyanga, Mr Nyashadzashe Zindove, confirmed that 19 houses were damaged.
“Basically, we have been affected mostly in Wards 21, 12 and 11. Apart from the four blocks at Nyafaru High School that had their roofs blown off, we also have 14 households that collapsed in the area.
“In Nyanga urban, we have five houses that collapsed. We are in touch with those affected through local leadership and we should be able to give the necessary assistance in due course,” he said.
Mr Zindove, who chairs the CPU in the district, said they established 31 evacuation centres prior to the heavy rains where people will bring their food and stay until necessary repairs are done to their homes.
“There are reports of more houses that were destroyed as of yesterday (Tuesday) evening. We are still reaching out to all the areas in the district to make a final assessment of the damage caused by overland Tropical Depression Ana,” said Mr Zindove.
In Chimanimani, a number of disaster preparedness mechanisms have been put in place including the provision of 86 evacuation centres. Residents in the urban part of the resort area and villagers in the remote parts of the district, have remained calm since the start of the heavy rains on Monday.
While memories of the devastating Cyclone Idai are still vivid in the minds of many, there has not been major destruction of infrastructure this time around in Chimanimani district apart from a bridge and the three households whose cabins were damaged.
Chimanimani District Development Coordinator Mr Joseph Manyurapasi said there was no panic as they continue to update people.
“There has not been any significant damages recorded so far. We have two households who had their cabins destroyed, in Ward 15 and one household in Ward 13 in the Machongwe area.
“I am still to get report from the assessment team that went there yesterday,” said Mr Manyurapasi.
In Mashonaland Central Province, most rivers had notable increases in the volume of water.
The Meteorological Services Department yesterday said the highest falls were recorded at Chisengu 205mm, Mukandi 200mm, Nyanga 178mm, Chipinge 112mm, Bikita Agritex 104mm, Mutare 82mm, Chisumbanje 80mm, Kanyemba 79mm, Chimhanda 77mm, Nyazura Rail 75mm, Rusape 65mm, Guruve 64mm and Kariba 64mm.
Today, it should be warm by day with a north-easterly airflow and intermittent cloudy periods.
Localised heavier falls above 30mm remain probable especially in some northern parts of Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central provinces due to remnant moisture from the overland tropical depression Ana.
Department of Civil Protection director, Mr Nathan Nkomo, yesterday said they were still assessing damages.
“We have survived for now. We are dispatching more tents. Remember we are at the beginning of the second part of the rainfall season, the January, February, March and we cannot be found wanting. We should be prepared to help people.
“We are assessing the affected areas so we can help people with food and repairing the destroyed houses,” said Mr Nkomo.
In Mashonaland East the Department of Civil Protection says it continues to be on high alert.
So far, Wedza and Marondera districts experienced heavy rains and wind from Monday night.
Head of Mashonaland East DCP, Mr Tavabarira Kutamahufa, who is the Secretary for Provincial Affairs, said they had made all preparations which will ensure the safety of people.
The tropical depression evolved in the Mozambique Channel on Sunday and gradually intensified into a Tropical Storm named Ana.
Tropical Storm Ana hit the Mozambique coast around noon on Monday with maximum gusts of 110 kilometres per hour.
The falling over land, turned the tropical storm into an overland depression which gradually lost strength.