Zimbabwe Escapes Wrath of Tropical Storm Freddy as It Hits Mozambique

Severe Tropical Storm Freddy was yesterday still in the Mozambican Channel, around 500km east of Nyanga, but moving north towards that northern bulge of Mozambique near Quelimane and so posing no threat to Zimbabwe, although strong winds, light rains and cloudy conditions are expected in some provinces.

“As the core of Freddy was bypassing Zimbabwe, the outer spiral cloud bands stretching more than 750km radius across were brushing over the country, bringing cloudy, windy and mild conditions over the southern and eastern parts of the country in Matabeleland South, Masvingo, south western parts of Midlands, Harare Metropolitan, Manicaland and all Mashonaland provinces,” the Meteorological Services Department said.

There was light drizzle in Masvingo, Manicaland and southern parts of Mashonaland East, while other parts of the country were mostly sunny, but also became windy towards the evening.

Today, windy conditions are expected over much of the country, strengthening towards evening.

The Met Department said it should be mild in Masvingo, Manicaland, Harare Metropolitan and all Mashonaland provinces, partly cloudy at first becoming cloudy towards evening, with light rain, especially over high ground.

Conditions should be mostly sunny and warm in the western areas, Bulawayo Metropolitan, Midlands as well as Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South, though mild in the morning and windy towards evening.

“Wind gusts increase the probability of lose debris or roofs being blown off,” said the department. “The wind factor makes the real-feel temperature much less than the actual. Light rains may affect outdoor activities. Secure roof tops and insure any lose objects that can be easily carried by the wind are secure.

“Avoid being outdoors during episodes of strong winds as debris carried by the wind can cause injury. Vulnerable people should be kept warm and safe, especially towards evening when the winds are expected to strengthen. Plan with the weather in mind as light rains and strong winds are anticipated, especially over the eastern and southern parts of the country.”

The report indicate that tomorrow, Matabeleland South, Bulawayo Metropolitan, southern areas of the Midlands, Masvingo, Manicaland, Harare Metropolitan, Mashonaland East and eastern districts of Mashonaland Central should be mostly cloudy, windy and mild with intermittent light rain in places.

All other areas, namely Matabeleland North, northern parts of Midlands, Mashonaland West and western parts of Mashonaland Central are expected to be partly cloudy and warm with a generally light breeze, though slight gusts are probable, particularly overnight.

Freddy arrived in the Mozambique Channel on February 22 after passing over Madagascar on its long journey from near Australia, and remained in the channel for two days, before making landfall on the Mozambique coast around Maxixe, about 400km from the south eastern border of Zimbabwe, before moving inland.

While it lost strength quickly over dry land, it still brought a lot of rain to parts of Zimbabwe and storm winds caused some damage, as well as killing a person when a tree he was sheltering underneath was uprooted and fell on him.

Freddy then retraced its path back to the Mozambican Channel, but made a U-turn just near Madagascar after gaining some strength and is now expected to make a second landfall in Mozambique today, heading towards Malawi.

The Department of Civil Protection Committee has activated its systems in preparation for any eventualities in the wake of the revitalised tropical storm

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