By Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu
Flash floods are expected countrywide this week as the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has warned of thunderstorms and heavy rains.
The department advised resumption of insecticide spraying, especially, in malaria prone areas as mosquito populations are likely to increase as they would have more breeding grounds in stagnant pools of water.
Last week, more than 30 homesteads in Lusulu under Chief Sinamagonde in Binga District were destroyed after a heavy downpour preceded by a violent thunderstorm and strong winds hit the area.
In a chaotic 15 minutes that villagers said felt like a lifetime, the storm laid waste to a majority of homes and left occupants terrified.
Although no lives were lost, at least 200 villagers have become destitute following the natural disaster. Widows and orphans were among the affected.
Elderly people in the area said the storm was the most destructive they had ever seen in their lives.
In a statement yesterday, the MSD said while heavy rains may be good news to farmers lightning and flash flooding remain a potential threat to lives and property.
The department said the rains will be typically coupled by lightning, thunder and strong winds as well as small pallets of hail-stones in some places.
According to the MSD, members of the public must keep away from metal equipment during storms as it is prone to lightning strikes.
“Widespread morning rain and afternoon thunderstorms are expected tomorrow Monday 30 November 2020. Localised heavy falls and violent storms probable, especially over high ground. It should be warm by day becoming mild toward evening with cooling winds over Masvingo Province into Matabeleland South,” read the statement.
“More thunderstorms and heavy rains are expected and while it is good news for the farmer, members of the public should keep safe as lightning and flash flooding remain a potential threat.”
The department said there is a heightened potential for lightning strikes and localised flash flooding in areas with poor drainage.
The effects also include reduced visibility, more so at night and the MSD discouraged crossing of flooded rivers and streams. People were also warned against sitting at the back of open trucks or seeking shelter under trees as lightning may strike them.
“Persons in malaria-prone areas should take necessary precautions and ensure they resume insecticide spraying, applying mosquito repellents, sleeping under mosquito nets. Residents should also fill potholes which allow stagnation of water as these may become breeding areas of mosquitoes,” said the MSD. The Chronicle