Zimbabwe Braces For “Record Breaking” Cyclone Freddy

The Department of Civil Protection (DCP) says it has established evacuation centres in flood-prone areas in preparation for tropical Cyclone Freddy.

The cyclone is anticipated to cause localised heavy rains (above 65mm) and strong winds as early as Thursday evening into Friday morning.

Tropical Cyclone Freddy is one of five in known history to set a record for track length in the southern Indian Ocean, as it formed further east than the previous cyclones, reported EUMETSAT.

The cyclone developed in the Timor Sea and was reported by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) on 5 February.

During a 17-day westward journey, Tropical Cyclone Freddy underwent a few intensity changes, and at its strongest, had sustained winds of 270km/hr.

Speaking to NewsDay on Wednesday, DCP deputy director Farai Hokonya, revealed that districts such as Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mwenezi, Chivi, Masvingo and Beitbridge are among those that could be potentially hit by the cyclone. Said Hokonya:

We have mobilised for regions, but particularly for Freddy, we have gone a gear up preparing to save lives.

All districts that might interface cyclones such as Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mwenezi, Beitbridge and Masvingo have evacuation centres.

When there are cyclones or floods, people might lose their food stocks. Government and its partners also set aside stocks to assist communities in these areas because they might be difficult to reach.

Our mobilisation team is continuously mobilising these resources and sending them to the district where the potential hazard would occur.

He said support has also been given in the form of fuel to the police sub-aqua unit and the Air Force of Zimbabwe.

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