Govt on high alert for Cyclone Freddy

Staff Reporter

Government has notified that the country has put in place adequate measures to minimise the effects of Cyclone Freddy that is anticipated to reach the country tonight.

In a post Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa indicated that Cyclone Freddy had already hit Madagascar and was proceeding to Mozambique whereupon it would also affect countries such as Zimbabwe.

“The nation is informed that Cabinet noted that Cyclone Freddy has hit Madagascar and its proceeding to Mozambique whereupon it will also affect neighbouring countries, inclusive of Zimbabwe. The provinces to be most affected include the following: Manicaland, Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Central and Harare Metropolitan. Weather experts are predicting that it may cause damages along its path,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Minister Mutsvangwa added that Government, through its agencies, has taken due alert and has put in place measures to mitigate the effects of the cyclone.

The measures include, setting up of evacuation establishments; deploying aid and medical supplies to Government Offices in potentially vulnerable districts. Boarding schools have been advised to remain open, but suspend lessons in the affected areas on Friday; to reduce the movement of pupils. Students are to gather in buildings or dormitories with secure roofs or spaces where they can get covering in the event the roof is blown off.

Minister Mutsvangwa informed that Cabinet had directed SMEs and artisanal miners to avoid going underground adding that citizens should avoid crossing flooded rivers.

Public transport operators have also been directed to operate during day time while all local authorities should have been warned against settling people in wetlands, waterways, river basins and other undesignated sites.

Meanwhile, Civil Protection Unit Chief Director, Nathan Nkomo said that they were treating the cyclone as a looming disaster whether it reaches Zimbabwe or not.

Nkomo informed that Government has availed US$800 000 for the Air Force of Zimbabwe to procure A1 Jet fuel and other accessories for rescue helicopters. He added that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Sub Aqua Unit had been allocated ZW$235 million to procure new equipment.