The Civil Protection Unit of Zimbabwe has given an update on Tropical Cyclone Freddy which was anticipated in the southern African nation on Friday 24 February 2023.
In an update seen by Pindula News, the Civil Protection Unit said Cyclone Freddy failed to make it to Zimbabwe.
The report contradicts a live report by Zoom Earth which suggests that Cyclone Freddy has since entered Zimbabwe. Zoom Earth’s report seen by Pindula News shows that as of Monday 27 February 2023, at around 2000 hours, Freddy was headed back to Mozambique.
We present the Civil Protection Unit’s update on Cyclone Freddy:
Tropical Cyclone Freddy made landfall on Wednesday 22 February 2023 in the Mozambique channel. It remained in the channel for two days and made landfall on the Mozambique coast around Maxixe (about 400km from the southeastern border of Zimbabwe) on Friday 24 February 2023. Because of the distance, the cyclone failed to make it to Zimbabwe.
The Meteorological Services Department provided information that Cyclones are weakened by two main factors which are; (a) frictional surfaces due to mountains and other land objects which disturb the smooth flow of winds within the system, (b) lack of moisture especially when outside the ocean waters. Nevertheless, Cyclone Freddy made a delayed landfall in Mozambique thus weakening its magnitude and also reducing its severity hence delayed it from reaching Zimbabwe on 24 February 2-02-3 as initially projected.
In light of the anticipated cyclone, Civil Protection Organizations, Provinces and Development partners were on high alert and were activated. Provincial and District Command Centers in the districts likely to be affected were manned 24 hours. The Department continues to receive updates from Provinces and districts that were most likely to be affected by Tropical Cyclone Freddy as follows;
2.0. Mashonaland Central Province
2.1. Mazowe District
Eight (8) classroom block had its roof blown off by strong winds at Musarara Primary school in ward 9. In ward 11, five (5) houses had their roofs blown off and furniture damaged.
2.2. Shamila District 4 heavy wind storm was witnessed on 26 February 2023 in Shamva urban in the afternoon around 1400 hours which uprooted a Mukuyu tree at Cross junction along Chakonda road and this resulted in one death.
3.0. Manicaland Province
3.1. Chipinge District
The district received heavy rains and strong winds on 26 February 2023. Roofs of staff houses were blown off at Simudzai Primary school in Chipinge and Checheche Primary school in Chisumbanje
4.0. Masvingo Province
4.1. Bikita District
One thatched but was struck by lightning on 2-5 February 2023 in Kutsirai Village Ward.
4.2. Zaka District
In Marimira village Ward 13, a house was completely destroyed by rainfall on 2-6 February 2023.
4.3. Chiredzi District
In Ward 19 Hippo Valley Estate, sugar cane plantations were extensively damaged,
The country is still in the cyclone season and is also prone to other extreme weather events hence it is imperative that all national and sub-national structures remain vigilant in the same spirit that was prevailing in preparation for Cyclone Freddy. Given the unpredictable nature of Tropical Storm Freddy in the ensuing days after the original forecast regarding its trajectory, the Department in collaboration with MSD and other stakeholders has scheduled for a mission to give feedback to the nation and particularly communities. This will build confidence in future early warning programmes, alerts amongst the citizens.