Ray Bande, Senior Reporter
THE Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has warned against risky tendencies in view of anticipated thunderstorms, lightning and flash floods in different parts of Manicaland.
Even though most parts of Manicaland have good drainage because of mountainous terrain, drains may fail to cope in urban or built-up settings, while visibility may be compromised, especially for drivers, during heavy downpours.
In an interview, MSD chief provincial meteorologist for Manicaland Mr Lukas Murambi said heavy rains with thunderstorms and lightning are expected for about a week-long period.
He said working in the fields and remaining outdoors could be risky whenever there were signs of rain like dark clouds.
“The weather system moving from Zambia and Botswana is fast approaching this region and coupled with the heat that we have been experiencing we are likely to have heavy rains for a week or so.
“If you noticed we had some rumbles on Wednesday and the trend could now culminate into heavy rains. Because of the mountainous terrain in most parts of Manicaland have better drainage but we also have low-lying areas like the Middle Sabi area but drains may fail to cope in urban or built-up settings.
“However, our main fear here in Manicaland relates to thunderstorms and lightning simply because the low-lying areas we have here in the province normally have low-rainfall patterns. We cannot rule out possibility of flash floods.
“People must desist from working in the fields when there are clear signs of rains. They should also be indoors and avoid activities such as cycling. Crossing of flooded rivers must never be attempted during such times,” he said.
Mr Murambi added that use of lightning protectors should be encouraged.
“We also encourage the use of lightning protectors and this will go a long way in ensuring safety. In fact, we wish there could be partners willing to help in this regard. It is a simple device that is installed and
becomes the tallest object at a given place where it is installed,” he said.
Manicaland, just like some parts of the country, started receiving rains though of insignificant levels so far.
Mr Murambi confirmed that Chimanimani received 4mm on Wednesday while Mutare recorded an ‘insignificant amount” on the same day.
However, he said there were expectations of a sharp increase in the amount of rains to be received.
Manicaland has been hit by weather- related disasters in the past, the most recent being Cyclone Idai that left a trail of destruction in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts on March 15 and 16 last year.