Zimbabwe – Floods in 4 Provinces Damage Crops and Houses, 7 Reported Dead in Gokwe

Further severe weather, including heavy rain, flooding, lightning and thunderstorms, has affected parts of Zimbabwe over the last few days.

In mid January, flooding forced around 30 families to evacuate their homes in near the Marimba River in Budiriro, a western suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe.

According to European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), local media in Zimbabwe reported on 30 January that around 2,000 houses had been damaged by floods in the cities of Harare (Harare province) and in Chitungwiza (Mashonaland East province).

The severe weather has since continued, and local reports suggest several people have been killed or injured by lightning strikes. Flooding has also continued to affect some areas of Mashonaland East and Harare provinces and heavy rain has recently caused flooding in parts of Midlands and Masvingo provinces.

According to WMO figures, 126 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Gokwe, Midlands province, between 31 January and 01 February. Local media reports that as many as 7 people have drowned in a swollen river in Gokwe South District.

Zimbabwe news site Newsday adds that “nine families in Nyahombe Resettlement Area in Ngundu, Masvingo province, were left homeless after their houses were submerged in water after a heavy downpour. Another five families in Chief Nyajena’s area in Masvingo were also affected by flash floods after Mutirikwi River burst its banks.”

Crop Damage

According to Reuters, farmers in Zimbabwe are suffering after the heavy rains battered crops, threatening its food staple, maize, and its cash tobacco crops just months after the worst drought in 25 years.

Forecast and Flood Warnings

Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department (MSD) says that all areas of the country are forecast to be cloudy and humid with rain and outbreaks of storms in places until 03 February.

Further flooding is possible and MSD warned people in flood-hit areas to stay indoors and off the roads if possible, avoid crossing flooded rivers and swollen streams where the depth is unknown.

Flood summary

Last updated: February 15, 2017
Event
Zimbabwe, February 2017
Date
January 30 to February 3, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Harare, Harare Province
B - Chitungwiza, Mashonaland East Province
C - Gokwe, Midlands Province
D - Ngundu, Masvingo Province

Magnitude

Rainfall level
126 mm in 24 hours
Gokwe, Midlands Province - January 31 to February 1, 2017
River level
Overflowing
Mutirikwi River, Ngundu, Masvingo province - February 1 to February 2, 2017
River level
Overflowing
Mudzongwe river, Gokwe, Midlands province - February 1 to February 2, 2017

Damages

Fatalities
7 people
Gokwe, Midlands province - February 1 to February 2, 2017