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Heavy rains raise fear of thunder strikes

Heavy rains raise fear of thunder strikes

by KHUMBULANI TARUVANDA
CHIREDZI, (CAJ News) THE thunderstorms forecast for Zimbabwe this week have evoked terrifying memories of recent deaths of eight people, mostly in southeastern regions.

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has forecast the inclement weather.

A warning has been issued to local communities to avoid further carnage.

MSD projected the storms would bring heavier falls in excess of 50mm in 24 hours in some places.

Such thundery phenomenon is usually superseded by lightning, the agency stated, adding this posed a potential threat to the tallest objects such as trees, poles, isolated sheds and even people in open fields.

“Downstream flooding is also a potential hazard. Once a thunderstorm begins, (people must) desist from all outdoor activity,” MSD advised.

It warned against the use of metal objects, electrical gadgets and sheltering under tall isolated trees or sheds.

Locals have been discouraged from crossing flooded rivers or streams, whether on foot or in vehicles.

People must avoid parking vehicles under trees and, where possible, must trim hanging branches.

“When thunder roars it is best to be indoors,” MSD stated.

Recently, five family members died after lightning in Muzvezve while they working in a field.

Three other family members survived.

Two people drowned after the flooded Runder River swept away a vehicle they were travelling in.

Prior to the incident, one person was killed and 21 families were marooned following heavy rains that pounded Binga, in the north.

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