By Joyce Mukucha
The Meteorological Service Department (MSD) has warned that tropical cyclones, storms and serious floods remain a real danger in the second half of the 2020/21 rainy season.
In a statement issued on the 13th of January 2021, MSD said rain-related disasters remain a possibility during the second half of the rainy season as heavier falls are still expected.
“Heavy storms, flash floods, flooding, and tropical cyclones cannot be ruled out as the season progresses. The observations made in the current season are that heavy storms are getting more frequent,” reads the statement.
Additionally, MSD highlighted that due to the significant rainfall amounts that were recorded across most parts of the country during the first half of the season (October-November-December), it is important to be on the watch for flood-related disasters during the second-half.
In December Zimbabwe narrowly escaped a tropical cyclone after the storm downgraded into a weakened tropical depression.
Last year in November, floods and deadly storms affected Chipinge in Manicaland where one person was swept away by flash floods, and close to the border with Mozambique, crops, bridges, homes, and a school was severely damaged.
Another person died in Odzi, about 130km north of Chipinge, after being struck by lightning. Buildings were damaged by strong winds in parts of Chipinge and Buhera. Hailstorms affected parts of Nyanga.
The 2019/2020 season was also accompanied by El Niño induced drought.
The MSD had predicted normal to above-normal rainfall in the 2020/21 rainy season owing to the La Nina climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean, with improved rains expected across Southern Africa.
Meanwhile, some dams in the country are already spilling and in some urban areas, houses built on Wetlands are swept away by heavy rains.
Worldwide, floods and storms also struck countries such as Southeastern Europe, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Kosovo.