Zimbabwe – Flood Warnings Issued Across the Country

Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has warned of heavy rainfall,  thunderstorms and severe localized downpours and the possibility of associated flash flooding in the Matabeleland North and Midlands Provinces, all Mashonaland provinces, as well as Manicaland Province, from Friday 09 December to Monday 12 December 2016.

“Model projections are predicting that heavier rain, in excess of 40mm in 4 hours, is forecast for many areas of the country from Friday 09 December to Monday 12 December,” said a spokesperson for the MSD.

Floods in Masvingo, November 2016

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) reported that a 53-year old man died when his car was swept away while he was attempting to drive it across the flooded Mucheke River in a suburb of the city of Masvingo at about 11pm on Sunday night 20 November 2016. According to ZRP, the driver of the car behind the deceased’s vehicle had turned around and reported the matter to the police after he saw the vehicle being washed away by floodwaters.

The vehicle containing the body of a local supermarket owner, a Mr Mwale, was only discovered on the evening of Tuesday 22 November, and a member of the public who had been a pupil of the former high school teacher, dived into the water and retrieved the body.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba expressed concern with the fact that people try to cross flooded rivers and urged caution this rainy season.

Severe Weather and Rainfall

In an unrelated event, a 10-year old boy was killed and 3 others injured when lightning struck the tree they were playing under, in Binga District of Matabeleland North, near the Kariba Dam. Charamba urged members of the public to take precautionary measures with the onset of the rainy season. “Please avoid taking shelter at isolated places or being the sole target in open spaces; avoid contact with electrical gadgets and seeking shelter under isolated tall trees or other objects,” she said.

Elsewhere in Zimbabwe heavier rainfalls were recorded on 4 December 2016, with 26mm recorded at Chivhu in Mashonaland East Province, 22mm at Kwekwe in the Midlands Province and 16mm at Lake Chibero on the outskirts of the capital, Harare, with more heavy rains forecast for the coming weekend.