Another tropical cyclone is brewing east of Madagascar and is likely to affect Zimbabwe mid this month, the Meteorological Services Department has warned. A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating, low-pressure storm system characterised by very strong winds, thunderstorms and torrential rains. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by names such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone
A hurricane is a storm that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and north-eastern Pacific Ocean, a typhoon occurs in the north-western Pacific Ocean, and a cyclone occurs in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean.
Senior meteorologist Mr John Mupuro said indications were that a tropical cyclone had formed east of Madagascar and was likely to affect Zimbabwe if it enters the Mozambican channel (the part of the Indian ocean between Mozambique and Madagascar).
“We are monitoring the development,” said Mr Mupuro.
The Met department also predicted a wet weekend and less rainfall starting from Monday for a limited number of days.
This comes against the backdrop of Cyclone Dineo that resulted in floods that affected nearly all parts of the country, killing 246 people.
At least 128 people were injured, while 1 576 were marooned. The floods left 1 985 others homeless and damaged 74 schools, leaving 70 dams breached and five health institutions damaged.
Government has since launched an international humanitarian appeal.
The appeal for assistance came after President Mugabe declared the floods a state of disaster that left a trail of destruction which needs $100 million to repair.
Cyclone Dineo hit Zimbabwe over the past few weeks, resulting in damaging floods in the southern parts of the country, where rivers burst their banks, sweeping away crops and livestock leaving thousands homeless.
Cyclone Dineo worsened flooding that was experienced in Matabeleland last month due to torrential rains that pounded the southern parts of the country.
Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopters had to be dispatched to Tsholotsho to rescue flood victims as the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) reacted swiftly to the disaster where hundreds were displaced.
Zimbabwe has over the years been prone to cyclones, with Cyclone Eline in 2000 killing almost 136 people and destroying an estimated 59 184 houses.
The cyclone also killed 20 000 livestock and damaged 230 dams, 538 schools, 54 clinics and 14 999 toilets. Communities have battled to recover from the cyclone, 17 years after the devastating floods.
Cyclone Eline remains the worst cyclone in 50 years that lasted from February 9 to March 2, 2000, leaving a trail of destruction in most parts of the country.