Harare (New Ziana) – Tropical storm Chalane has greatly weakened, but weather experts will continue monitoring its movements for public safety, the Meteorological Services Department (MSD ) has said.
Chalane, initially envisaged to be a cyclone, lost intensity before the hitting the country, and has now been classified as a tropical storm.
It is expected to sweep through Zimbabwe from December 30 to January 1, 2021, causing heavy rains of up to 100mm in some areas and flooding in low lying areas.
In an update on Thursday, the MSD said: “Tropical depression Chalane has greatly weakened and is now passed. We continue to monitor specific areas to assess the rainfalls and downstream effects.”
“While light rains, cloudy and windy conditions are projected, we will continue to asses and advise in liaison with the department of civil protection for the safety of the public,” it said.
The government has since availed $100 million to finance disaster preparedness efforts in the wake of the tropical storm which hit the country on Wednesday morning.
Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists on Wednesday that districts including Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutare, Gutu, Buhera and Bikita would be among the most affected.
Evacuations in Chimanimani and other areas that were in danger were carried out with affected people ferried to temporary shelters which have been equipped with tents, blankets, food items, toiletries and other essentials.
The MSD urged people to remain cautious.
“If you urgently need to travel, take caution on the roads as roads may be slippery and contain hidden dangers covered by water, including fallen trees, utility poles and live wires.”