Rains cause destruction in Harare

HARARE - The heavy rains that have been pounding Harare since Sunday have left a trail of destruction, with several houses being flooded in the capital.

Police said yesterday Godknows Marufu, 38, Makariel Chinongwa, 28, and Gabriel Majonga, 37, were trapped in their Toyota Raum and Nissan Sunny vehicles on Sunday night while trying to cross a bridge in Cold Comfort.

They were rescued by members of the public.

Charity Charamba, the police spokesperson, said they had also established that Kuwadzana Flyover had been blocked by logs,leading to unprecedented traffic congestion.

“We are still looking for the occupant of a Toyota Corolla registration number ACK 5001,” Charamba said.

“The vehicle was found abandoned with no one inside and the following valuables, Nokia and Samsung cell phones, spectacles and car keys were recovered.”

Several houses in Mabelreign, Ashdown Park, Westlea and Tynwald were also affected by the ever-rising water levels.

“The ZRP is appealing to all motorists and the general public to be on high alert,” Charamba said, warning the public to monitor the water situation and not to cross flooded rivers.

With the department of meteorological services signalling a continuation of the wet spell for a week, there are fears that the floods could turn fatal as happened at the beginning of last month.

Statistics from the department show that since January 26, rainfall activity has been on the rise with various weather stations recording between 20 and 158mm.

The highest amount of rainfall was recorded at the Ashdown Park Station in Harare which had 158mm while Buffalo Range, Harare International Airport, Belvedere and Logan Park stations recorded 98, 64, 78 and 72mm respectively.

In Matabeleland North, Lupane station recorded 31mm while Zvishavane had 35mm, Masvingo 32mm, Nyanga 27mm and Henderson Research Station 37mm.

Tich Zinyemba, the director of the meteorological services department, warned that the country could be hit by more and even dangerous flash floods owing to “heavier falls, at times exceeding 50mm in 24 hours.” 

Zinyemba told the Daily News that heavier downpours were expected, especially in areas along and to the north of the main watershed covering Mashonaland, Harare, Matabeleland North, north of Matabeleland South and the bulk of Midlands and Manicaland provinces.

“In anticipation of several days of rain in most parts of the country, there is a high probability of flash flooding almost anywhere across the country. Greater risk lies in low lying and flat lands,” Zinyemba said.

“The department therefore urges all responsible authorities to be aware of this possibility and prepare accordingly. An advisory has already been issued in accordance to the matter above.”

He added that at present, the entire sub region is under the influence of a series of low pressure systems.

The heavy rains also caused mayhem, flooding houses in areas such as Warren Park 1, Warren Park D, as well as Kuwadzana Extension, damaging and destroying household property worth thousands of dollars.

Along Bulawayo Road, in Kuwadzana, a Telecel billboard collapsed.

When the Daily News crew visited some of the affected areas in the capital, residents were busy mopping water out of their houses while others had taken out their beds, sofas and other valuables.

“We just had to sit back and watch because we could not do anything as the rains continued,” said Dorothy Makono of Warren Park.

“Pre-cast walls prevented the water from flowing downstream so we had to collapse some parts of the wall to let it pass but most of it had entered the rooms up to knee level.”

Moira Chiyangwa, another Warren Park resident whose house was waterlogged said: “We thank God that the house did not collapse on us although almost all my property has been damaged as you can see. This is the first time we have seen this but I think it is down to poor drainage because even the main road was flooded.”

A huge tree was also uprooted by the storm at Strathaven Shopping Centre, while several others including power lines were damaged during the stormy night.

An official who answered the phone at the Civil Protection Unit said her bosses were still locked up in a meeting over the issue.

Comments (8)

Countrymen under whose Ministry does that follow i understand its the loud-mouthed uncouth mafikizolo little cde in his making Chombo.This man has been always on the centre of disorganizing councillors for political gains,when we go for what it makes most delivery its always zero.apart from the fact that its a natural disaster but its affects can be mitigated by careful planning like making sure before rainy season that the drainage outlets are always free

carson Macate - 3 February 2015

Can City of Harare Department of Roads please please ndapota endayi munorepair Crowborough Road zi dam remvura at Pfukwa Shopping Centre towards Mereki. The whole road haichaita but murikungotarisa muchiti zvichasvika kupiko. Taneta nemi vanhu ve kanzuru ye Harare

Muchenje - 4 February 2015

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