Cyclone Freddy Wreaks Havoc In Chipinge, Chimanimani
27 February 2023
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By- Tropical Storm Freddy has destroyed buildings in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts.

Manica Post also reports that two people and seven cattle were struck by lightning following incessant rains being received across the country at the weekend.

This comes at a time when the Civil Protection Committee (CPU) has activated its systems in preparation for any eventualities in the wake of the envisioned tropical storm.
Heavy rains and adverse weather conditions are expected in most areas around Manicaland Province after Tropical Storm Freddy made a landfall in Mozambique and is expected to induce more wet and harsh weather conditions in some parts of the country, Manicaland included.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has suspended today (Friday)’s lessons in areas that are likely to be affected.
Part of the circular reads: “In view of the impending heavy rains, all institutions providing primary and secondary education are advised that localised flash floods caused by Tropical Storm Freddy are probable in parts of Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central provinces as well as Harare Metropolitan Province.
“The above-named areas have been placed on high alert and as a result of this extreme weather likelihood, no learners are to attend school or face-to-face instruction on Friday, February 24, 2023.
“Boarders are to remain in their hostels and continue with their studies via alternative learning modes from the confines of a safe environment. Heads of schools in these provinces are advised to exercise caution by notifying day learners not to attend school on Friday or to attempt to cross any flooded rivers.”
Ministry of Local Government and Public Works also chipped in and said: “The Department of Civil Protection is urging citizens to be on high alert of forecasted Severe Tropical Storm Freddy. The spinning cloud-bands of the severe Tropical Storm Freddy are anticipated to cause localised heavy rains (above 65mm), and strong winds in districts such as Chimanimani, Chipinge, Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Beitbridge, Chivi, Masvingo Rural, Zaka and Bikita.
“Tropical Strom Freddy is, however, expected to weaken from Saturday. We call on all relevant stakeholders and traditional leaders to step up efforts to disseminate information to their various communities, in particular all Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces where heavy rains accompanied by strong winds are expected.
“We urge the citizens to take heed of the Meteorological Services Department alerts as they continue monitoring the unfolding situation. Citizens should be on the watch for possible flooding, avoid crossing flooded rivers or streams, stay indoors and avoid artisanal mining on shacky grounds during the period. Citizens living in low-lying area also encouraged to move to high ground.”
Chipinge District Development Coordinator (DDC), Mr William Mashava said one person and seven cattle were struck by lightning, while two schools buildings had their roofs blown off in the district.
“From the rains that have been received so far, some classroom blocks have had their roofs blown off. About eight houses had their roof blown off at Chinyamukwakwa, Vheneka and Chisumbanje areas. In Ward 27, seven beasts that were struck by lightning,” he said.
Mr Mashava said they have activated CPU systems in the district and development partners have come in handy in their disaster preparedness initiatives.
“We are preparing for any eventuality in the district that might come as a result of the effects of Tropical Storm Freddy. In almost every ward, we have at least two schools that were reserved for possible evacuation. We have received immense support from development partners. Some have donated their vehicles that will be on standby. Some have provided chainsaws, based on the past experiences whereby we could not reach out to some areas after roads were blocked by trees.
“Some chipped in with whistles, megaphones, ropes and other non-food items. Sixty tents have already been delivered to Tongogara Refugees Camp. The Meteorological Services Department in conjunction with the Ministry of Publicity, Information and Broadcasting Services and PLAN will be helping with communication throughout the process,” he said.
Chimanimani DDC, Mr Joseph Manyurapasi confirmed that a classroom block had its roof blown off at Mataa Primary.
Mr Manyurapasi also confirmed the death of a Chimanimani villager who was struck by lightning.
“So far, we have received a report at Mataa Primary School where a classroom block had its roof blown off. We also have a report of a person who was killed by lightning on Tuesday in Chief Mutambara’s area,” he said.
In Mutasa, acting DDC, Mrs Caroline Tichawangana said the CPU is on high alert and no loss of lives and property has so far been reported in the district.
“So far we have not recorded any rainfall related damages. It is raining in most parts of the district and heavy rains are being reported in Honde Valley and areas surrounding DC.
“We have alerted our communities of the impending Tropical Storm Freddy through various platforms and we have identified 93 evacuation centres across the district. We have also activated our district command centre with members on standby to respond to any emergencies,” said Mrs Tichawangana.
Buhera DDC, Mr Freeman Maviza said: “All communities have been alerted of the impending storm. Evacuation centres have been established in hot spot areas.”
Nyanga DDC, Mr Nyashadzashe Zindove said: “We are always alert and this time we have activated our CPU in the district. So far we have not received reports on any damages and loss of life.”
Cyclone Idai survivor, Mr Givemore Muzhambi said his house in Ngangu Township Extension has been flooded by the incessant rains being received in Chimanimani since last week.
“We are frightened. I have a family of eight and during the last cyclone disaster, my house was destroyed while we were sleeping inside. We were all injured and that trauma is coming back to haunt us. We are praying that nothing happens,” he said.
Mr Freddy Makuyana said he is planning to leave Chimanimani for Mutare with his family this weekend and return after the anticipated tropical storm.
“A good number of people have actually left Ngangu Township for higher ground and other areas. We are doing this because we lost a lot of friends and relatives during Cyclone Idai. We are alert and were told to rush to evacuation centres when disaster strikes,” he said.
Ms Prudence Mukwayo said they are well prepared for the tropical storm.
“Unlike in the past, we are adequately prepared, thanks to the information being disseminated by our community radio stations. We have the station and cyclone monitors telling us to be always alert and I believe this will save lives and property,” she said.