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The Meteorological Services Department has warned of heavy rainfall associated with damaging winds, lightning, hail and flash flooding starting this weekend.

Provinces likely to be most affected are Midlands, Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Manicaland.

In a statement yesterday, the MSD, Central Forecast Office said uprooting of trees and damage to infrastructure could not be ruled out with this type of rainfall.

The department expects the mandated institutions and most vulnerable ministries to get in touch with the CFO for preparedness measures.

Rainfall in excess of 50mm is expected starting Saturday up to Wednesday next week.

A series of very active low pressure systems are expected to be anchored over central Zimbabwe and these should bring widespread heavy rain with falls in excess of 50mm.

“While noting that weather patterns may change abruptly, as of now, indications are that people in the mentioned areas should brace for sharp downpours, damaging winds, lightning, hail and flash flooding.

“Traditionally, flood prone areas will be more vulnerable and at heightened risk,” read the statement.

Yesterday high rainfall was received in different areas with Guruve receiving 112 mms, Rusape Rail 107 mm, Mvurwi 96 mm, Mutare 54 mm, Chivhu 43 mm, Zaka 41 mm, Chinhoyi 32 mm, Chisengu 30 mm, West Nicholson 29mm and Kwekwe 28 mm.

The MSD said it would continue to monitor the weather and aise the public accordingly.

The department aised motorists not to attempt to cross flooded low lying areas.

“People should not attempt to cross streams or rivers which are flooded. Rivers can flood due to rains that have fallen upstream. Therefore people exercise caution at night when approaching low lying bridges.

“People should not take shelter under trees during thunderstorms as there is enhanced risk of being struck by lightning.

“The MSD also discouraged people from parking vehicles under big and old trees as these may fall down. There is danger of electricity poles falling over thus increasing the risk of electrocution when cables are handled carelessly.

“Motorists should drive carefully on wet roads especially if there are already damaged,” read the statement.

Source : The Herald

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