Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Citizens have been urged to take precautionary measures against heavy rains, in excess of 50 millimetres in 24 hours coupled with hail, strong winds and lightning starting from today.
Manicaland, Matabeleland South, Masvingo and southern areas of Midlands could be the most seriously affected, according to the Meteorological Services Department.
The rains will be accompanied by strong winds, lightning, hail and flash flooding.The uprooting of trees and damage to infrastructure cannot be ruled out.
Drains may fail to cope in urban or built-up settings while visibility may be compromised, especially for drivers, during the heavy downpours.
While Manicaland, Matabeleland South, Masvingo, as well as southern areas of Midlands Province are forecast to receive heavy rains today similar conditions will spread northward tomorrow.
“Thereafter, the rains should steadily ease off giving way to bright and showery conditions in most areas, with a possibility of localised heavier falls over Mashonaland East into northern parts of Manicaland,” said the MSD in a statement.
According to the MSD, insecure home roofs, schools and shopping centres could be blown off by strong winds while asbestos roofing could be perforated by hailstones in some instances, potentially endangering occupants.
The public has been advised to avoid being caught outdoors during the heavy storms, more so at night, when floods are harder to see.
MSD has advised people to avoid crossing flooded rivers and swollen streams whose depth is unknown.
“The department will continue monitoring the conditions and update the public accordingly. The public is also being requested to provide feedback or information on disasters through the department’s Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook page,” said the MSD.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing heavy falls in most parts of the country resulting in the deaths of six people to date while property and crops have also been destroyed.