Liberty Dube Post Correspondent
MANICALAND is on high alert over Tropical Cyclone Idai which is expected to sweep across the province from Mozambique and result in some heavy and copious rain beginning tomorrow (Saturday), the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has revealed.
When cyclones make landfall, they begin to decrease in strength because they no longer have the ocean water from which to gain energy. However, they are still dangerous and can cause much damage.
According to the United Nations, Cyclone Idai has killed 10 people in two flood-prone provinces of Mozambique.
The cyclone was on Tuesday in the northern sector of the Mozambique Channel (near 18° south and 42°east).
In the quasi-stationary position it was drying out the bulk of Zimbabwe while at the same time inducing a steady cool breeze over the eastern and south-eastern parts of the country (namely Manicaland, parts of Masvingo into Mashonaland East).
“Presently Idai is moving south-westwards at a speed of 5km/h and if this present speed and trajectory is maintained, it is expected to start moistening the country’s atmosphere beginning with the eastern highlands on Thursday 14 March evening (yesterday).
“However, due to the nature of such systems this path and speed can change drastically. The Meteorological Services Department will continue to monitor intensity and trajectory of Tropical Cyclone Idai and advise the public accordingly,” said the MSD in a statement.
The MSD weather services head Mr Tich Zinyemba yesterday told The Manica Post in an interview this week that heavy rains were expected to descend on Manicaland and some parts of Mashonaland Central, East and Masvingo.
“We are expecting Tropical Cyclone Idai to make land fall on Friday and Saturday. It is an intense tropical cyclone but when it moves over land it tends to weaken since it thrives on moisture which it gets from oceans. Because of the depletion of moisture, it might weaken. As far as Zimbabwe is concerned, obviously Manicaland province will be affected by this tropical cyclone. If it maintains its strength we are likely to see some heavy flows. We are expecting parts in Manicaland to receive some heavy rains which might be extended to Mashonaland Central, East and Masvingo from Saturday going forward,” he said.
He added: “We will advise the nation in due course. People need to be on the lookout.
“Tropical cyclones can be associated with heavy and copious rain. If there is need for evacuation through the department of civil protection, that can be done.
“The impact will be closely monitored and we will advise the nation through the relevant stakeholders,” he said.