Mozambique + 1 more

Zimbabwe ready for advancing Cyclone 'Japhet'

Harare, Zimbabwe (PANA) - Government disaster agencies in Zimbabwe were Monday bracing for advancing Cyclone 'Japhet,' which has devastated large swathes of neighbouring Mozambique.
Weather experts said the cyclone was due to hit three eastern and southern provinces in Zimbabwe Tuesday, but expected its impact to be less severe than in Mozambique because it was running out of steam.

Rivers in most districts in the eastern Zimbabwe, closer to the border with Mozambique, were reported to be flooding Monday following heavy rains from Sunday night.

The rains were accompanied by strong wings of up to 100-km per hour, which uprooted trees and destroyed homes and other infrastructure, but no fatalities were reported.

"The cyclone is expected to affect Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Masvingo provinces tomorrow (Tuesday), but we don't expect heavy damage because cyclone 'Japhet' has since been downgraded to a tropical depression," said Simbarashe Chidzabwa, a spokesman for a government weather agency.

"But it is advisable for people to re-locate to higher ground, and avoid attempting to cross flooded rivers because the situation is still dangerous," he warned.

The three provinces were left in ruins three years ago by cyclone Eline, but Chidzabwa said the impact of Japhet would be less severe this year.

However, State television, reported that roads in most districts east of the country had been blocked by uprooted trees, while others were impassable due to the floods.

The flooding is the second to hit the country in less than a week, after similar floods killed three people, and displaced more than 6,000 others in the northern Muzarabani district last week.


Pan African News Agency
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