Flood warning issued

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Harare, December 10, 2019 (New Ziana) – As the country experiences heavy rains, and expects more in coming days, the Department of Civil Protection on Tuesday warned communities residing near river banks to be on the lookout for rising water levels which may put their lives, property and livestock at risk.

In a statement, the department said rising water levels had already left communities in the Midlands province marooned by Ume and Ngezi rivers.

“Some parts of the country have been receiving heavy downpours and this is expected to continue. Accordingly, the public is urged to be cautious, particularly those close to large river systems.

“There have been incidents of communities being marooned by Ume River in Gokwe North and Ngezi River in Mberengwa. Communities are warned to stay clear of rivers, look out for rising water levels and supervise children,” the Department said.

Department director Nathan Nkomo told New Ziana that rescue teams had been dispatched to assist marooned communities in the Midlands Province.

“For those who were marooned in Gokwe North and Mberengwa, we have since dispatched a helicopter to assist them. So we are working hand in glove with all civil protection organisations that provide emergency services,” he said.

But he said no distress calls had been received from other perennial flood disaster areas.

“So far the only perennial flood prone area (that has reported flooding) is Gokwe North. We have not received any reports from Muzarabani, Mbire, Mt Darwin and Tsholotsho. For Bulilima Mangwe and Matobo we told them to be on the watch out.

“We have since alerted our sub national committees to be on high alert and we have transferred some money so that they could also be doing surveillance in some respective areas,” Nkomo said.

He urged communities living around river banks to continuously monitor water levels.

“We advise them to watch the water levels because what could happen is there might be a heavy downpour upstream which might not be witnessed downstream,” he said.

On Monday, the Meteorological Services Department said the heavy downpour being witnessed across the country might cause flash flooding in areas with poor drainage.

New Ziana

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