Zimbabwe’s Civil Protection is on high alert for Cyclone Freddy, which is likely to hit Southern African countries, particularly in Chimanimani and Chipinge in the Eastern Highlands belt of Zimbabwe.
Intense Tropical Cyclone Freddy, a particularly powerful and compact tropical system, is forecasted to make landfall in Zimbabwe from 24-28 February.
This Friday, all schools and some workspaces were put on hold because of Cyclone Freddy so that people would be safe at their homes.
Freddy represents a significant flood risk for Madagascar as soils are already saturated in central parts of the island from the impact of Cyclone Cheneso, which stalled off the west coast of the island and brought torrential rains in late January that affected over 90,000 people with 33 people killed and 20 people still missing.
Civil Protection Unit Chief Director Nathan Nkomo said they are treating the cyclone as a looming disaster whether it reaches Zimbabwe or not.
According to some reports, the cyclone could affect nations along the coast from Tanzania to South Africa.
To alleviate the possible threat, Nkomo said his department, particularly the government, has been on high alert and some measures have already been put in place to counter any possible effects.
“We always make preparations at the beginning of the season. We have already projected the effects so we have been on this (response) since October last year. We are on high alert and we are treating it as a looming disaster, whether it will reach us or not,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s meteorology services department said a very Intense Tropical Cyclone Freddy is tracking west-south, westward in the Indian Ocean.
The department said it could reach Mozambique, Zimbabwe’s immediate eastern neighbour.
According to weather experts, life-threatening impacts could accompany the cyclone.
While Cyclone Freddy is not expected to impact Malawi, authorities have warned that wet weather should be expected over most areas of the country due to an Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).
Stay alert see attached link to track Tropical Storm Freddy movements: