Roofs blown off in Chipinge as weakened Tropical  Storm Freddy enters Zim Secretary for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mr Edgars Seenza last night confirmed the showers and winds in the province, but said no major damages were reported.

Africa Moyo-Deputy News Editor

TROPICAL Storm Freddy lost its energy after making landfall in Mozambique and by the time the remnants entered Zimbabwe there was nothing much left, with the highest rainfall in Chipinge, just 13mm, and the winds only strong enough to remove the roofs from a couple of huts and a teachers’ house.

Chipinge and some other parts of Manicaland and Masvingo provinces experienced some showers and winds yesterday, and panicky residents feared it was the beginning of heavy rains and winds that had been forecast. 

They did not intensify and kept diminishing. 

The slightly stronger winds saw a teachers’ house at Chichichi Primary School having four asbestos sheets ripped off.

Secretary for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mr Edgars Seenza last night confirmed the showers and winds in the province, but said no major damages were reported.

“I am actually on my way from Chipinge; I have been going around the province checking on the situation. Some parts of the province such as Chimanimani, Hot Springs and Chipinge had some meaningful showers.

“A few huts and some school buildings were affected by the strong winds but I will get detailed information from the command centre and share with you tomorrow (today),” said Mr Seenza, who is also chairman of the Manicaland Civil Protection Committee.

In its update yesterday, the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) said cloudy and windy conditions prevailed in the southern provinces namely Matabeleland South, Masvingo, southern parts of Midlands, and Manicaland provinces.

“Rain and drizzle were recorded in some places; although the rainfall amounts were very low, the highest was 13mm recorded at Chipinge Met Office.

“This was a result of the high-pressure system that set in over the south east of South Africa, steering moisture into the country. All other provinces were mainly partly cloudy and warm,” said the Met Department.

Today, the eastern and southern provinces Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South and southern parts of Midlands are expected to be mostly cloudy, rainy, and mild during most parts of the day.

Thunderstorms have a chance to occur in the afternoon while it should be windy in Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Masvingo and Manicaland provinces.

The windy conditions could blow off roof tops and loose debris as well as break tree branches.

Zimbabwe had been on high alert for tropical storm Freddy but it has weakened, and no longer poses danger to lives and infrastructure. 

The country always goes on high alert if a cyclone is anticipated since it is impossible to forecast how quickly or slowly it will dissipate, and no one wants to take any chances since the most effective preparations have to be made in advance.

There was expectation that Freddy would bring heavy rain and strong winds that could put lives in danger, prompting the Government to direct that provinces that were forecast to experience strong winds and rains, suspend classes last Friday as a                                                            precaution.

Mozambique and Madagascar experienced a lot of rain and winds, with four lives lost in Madagascar while infrastructure was damaged.

After the devastation brought by Cyclone Idai in 2019, Zimbabwe had activated all its disaster response structures to ensure people at risk would be swiftly moved to high ground in the event of Freddy strengthening.

Instead it lost almost all its power, but the remnants will still be causing breezes and showers over parts of Zimbabwe until tomorrow.

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