CPU warns of Cyclone Kenneth, landfall

Prosper Dembedza Herald Correspondent
The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has issued a warning of a tropical storm that is developing into a cyclone named Cyclone Kenneth, which is projected to make a landfall in Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and parts of Zimbabwe today.

In a statement last night, director in the Department of Civil Protection Mr Nathan Nkomo said the cyclone had been sighted in the Comoros Island facing Zimbabwe’s direction.

“Another 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 6pm on April 25. The trajectory of this impending catastrophe has been given by our early warning units, the Meteorological Service Department (MSD) whose model projections are also supported by those given SADC,” he said.

Earlier on, the MSD had issued a statement, saying:

“Tropical Storm Kenneth, off the north coast of Madagascar, is projected to strengthen into a Tropical Cyclone and if it maintains its westerly trajectory, it is set to make landfall near the Tanzanian border with Mozambique on Thursday evening after 6pm with a circulatory speed of approximately 200km/h.

“Areas that might be affected by heavy rains till April 27 are the southern parts of Tanzanian, northern provinces of Mozambique and Malawi,” read the statement. MSD had forecast that no rain was projected for Zimbabwe during this period till Saturday and that mostly sunny and warm conditions were anticipated.

Mr Nkomo said drawing huge lessons and experiences from the unprecedented destructive behaviour of the recent Cyclone Idai, people mostly those living in the flood prone areas of Mbire, Muzarabani, Mt Darwin, Nyanga, low lying areas of Masvingo Province, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutoko, Mudzi, Gokwe North are advised to be on high alert.

“The Department of Civil Protection together with the Meteorological Service Department will be closely monitoring the situation at an interval of every three hours considering that we are likely to receive some heavy down pour,” he said.

Mr Nkomo said given the 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.

Mr Nkomo said his department had agreed with the chairperson of the Cabinet Standby Committee on Environment Disaster Prevention and Management and Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo that they could not fully predict the magnitude of Cyclone Kenneth.

“The effects of the cyclone will be heavily felt in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania and that means Zimbabwe will not be spared by the effects of Cyclone Kenneth.

“Drawing lessons from Cyclone Idai we cannot take chances anymore. That’s why we are activating all our civil protection organisations as they are co-ordinated by provincial and district administrators,” he said.