SOME parts of Zimbabwe, including the Matabeleland provinces, are from tomorrow expected to receive heavy rains in excess of 70mm in 24 hours and the general public is warned to be wary of floods.
The Meteorological Services Department yesterday said the heavy rains were expected in Matabeleland South, south of the Midlands and Masvingo.The department urged other stakeholders including the Department of Civil Protection, local authorities, police, rescue services and power utilities, to be on standby and work with the MSD in monitoring the evolving situation.
“A cloud system is projected to start entering Zimbabwe through Matabeleland provinces on Thursday leading to heavy rains in Matabeleland South, south of Midlands and Masvingo.
“This is highly conducive to flash flooding and the public is advised to be vigilant especially in areas that have already borne the brunt of excessive water and flooding,” said MSD.
If the weather circulation dynamics do not suddenly change, the MSD said this cloud band and associated heavy rains will move towards Manicaland by Sunday.
“We are also requesting that when such alerts are issued, this information is quickly relayed to people engaged in activities on rivers about potential floods from rains that will have fallen upstream. Many people have been caught unawares,” said the MSD.
The MSD expressed concern over the high number of snake bite cases this year and attributed the incidence to the increase in heavy rains.
“We understand the Ministry of Health and Child Care has registered a significant number of snake bites and even resulting in deaths in the just ended season.
“This could be linked to the unusual rains, floods and high water levels which have either swept away crocodiles and snakes or could have found new havens. The public, should therefore be on the lookout,” the MSD said.
The 2016/7 rainfall season has been characterised by heavy rains and floods. The heavy rains have resulted in an increase in crop production and pastures for livestock. However, the rains have also brought pests and diseases to both crops and livestock.