Cyclone Kenneth: Govt Departments Issue Contradictory Statements

There is apparent contradiction among government departments over the projected path of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth.

While the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) said that Zimbabwe is not in present danger from the cyclone, as it will only affect Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania, the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) issued a contradictory statement.

According to the CPU statement, parts of Zimbabwe which include, Gokwe, Mt Darwin, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Masvingo, Mutoko, Mbire, Mzarabani, Nyanga and Mzarabani will be affected by Cyclone Kenneth.

In a statement released earlier on Wednesday, MSD said:

Tropical Storm Kenneth off the main coast of Madagascar is expected to strengthen into a Tropical Cyclone, and if it maintains its present westerly trajectory, it is set to make landfall near the Tanzanian border with Mozambique on Thursday evening (just after 6 pm) 25 April with a circulatory speed of approximately 200 km/hr.

Areas that might be affected by heavy rains till Saturday 27 April are the southern parts of Tanzania, northern provinces of Mozambique and Malawi.

No rain is projected for Zimbabwe during this period till Saturday 27 April; mostly sunny and warm conditions are anticipated as we enter the weekend.

The Department will continue monitoring the conditions and update the nation accordingly.

However, on Thursday morning, the CPU advised the public to brace for possible flooding. It said in a statement:

Another cyclone, Cyclone Kenneth, is projected to hit Mozambique, Malawi and some parts of Zimbabwe has been sighted in the Comoros Island facing this direction. It is projected that the cyclone will be in the region around 18:00 hrs on 25 April 2019.

The trajectory of this impending catastrophe has been given by our early warning units, the Met service department and whose model projections are also supported by those given by SADC.

Drawing huge lessons and experiences from the unprecedented destructive behaviour of the recent Cyclone Idai, all our people mostly those living in the flood-prone areas of Mbire, Muzarabani, Nyanga, Low lying areas of Masvingo province, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutoko, Mudzi, Gokwe North, are being advised to be on high alert.

Given this strong and urgent warning, all provincial administrators, district administrators, chief executive officers and town clerks, as well as our traditional leadership structures, are instructed to activate their committees in preparation to respond to the effects of Cyclone Kenneth in the event that it degenerates into a natural calamity.


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