Zimbabwe’s preparedness for disaster questioned by Tropical Cyclone Idai

March 16, 2019
| Report Focus News

ZIMBABWE : Tropical Cyclone Idai which has left a trail of destruction in Malawi and Mozambique headed for Zimbabwe and has claimed lives in Chimanimani in the eastern parts of Zimbabwe.

Images portraying great devastation have been circulating on social media and some videos showing destruction of roads and houses.

Sources at Catholic school St Charles Lwanga Seminary Secondary have confirmed that four students were trapped after a rock collapsed a dormitory. One was successfully rescued, two bodies were retrieved, and one is still missing. Several were injured.

Airforce Helicopters have been dispatched to aid the rescue mission at the school and surrounding areas but they are experiencing problems accessing the area due to the harsh weather.

Our sources also confirmed that Network was down due to the Cyclone.
Zimbabwe’s preparedness has been roundly questioned on social media platforms with many condemning the fact that not much was done to warn those in the Cyclone’s path and moved to safer areas.

In a tweet posted on his microblog Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Publicity said:

The cyclone was expected to be weakened by the mountainous terrain in the eastern parts of Zimbabwe.

Mr Murambi from the Meteorological Services Department said;
“The cyclone is taking a north-west direction and is expected to hit the northern parts of Mutare in areas like Mutasa and Nyanga, before moving towards Mutoko.”

“Although we expect the strength of the cyclone to diminish as it moves towards Zimbabwe, due to the mountainous terrain, we still expect more rains.”

Meanwhile, Mr Nathan Nkomo from The Department of Civil Protection said his department had put in place a plan and thus they were prepared. Accordingly the Department of Civil Protection held an urgent civil protection committee meeting on Friday with all the relevant stakeholders and came up with a prioritised plan. “We are activating sub-national structures and held an urgent meeting with stakeholders who include officials from fire engine, Airforce of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Army, police sub aqua and development partners, including Red Cross, Save the Children, World Vision and International Organisation for Migration that are in the shelter cluster,” said the department’s director.