Cyclone Idai has hit Chimanimani District with heavy rainfall and violent winds. The district has received in excess of 600mm of rain in the last 24 hours. The rain and wind is ongoing and is predicted to continue for the next 3 days or so. Areas affected include Chimanimani Urban, Charleshood Farm, Machongwe and Kopa Growth Point.

Thousands of people have been affected by the cyclone with more than 100 people feared dead. In Ward 15 Ngangu area a flash flood and mudslide has resulted in more than 30 houses being washed away. In the old location five houses have collapsed so far. The Haroni River in ward 12 Charleshood has burst its banks and villagers have been displaced.

The Nyahode river at Kopa Business Centre has also burst its banks resulting on the flooding of Gata Police Camp and surrounding homes. Major rivers like the Rusitu are in flood affecting villagers in Vhimba area. Villagers at Manase in Ward 13 have also had their houses washed away.

Power has been disrupted and major bridges have been blocked by the flooded waters as the bridges at Machongwe, Nhedziwa, Charleshood etc are not passable. The bridge at Pondo Farm has been swept away. The situation is drastic and there is urgent need for assistance in tents, food and blankets for the affected people

Meanwhile the Government of Zimbabwe is already appealing for emergency assistance from well wishers.In twitter post which has drawn much derision and ridicule Information Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana has appealed to well wishers to donate towards helping those affected by the cyclone.Critics have rounded up on him and indicated that the money used for the President’s trip to Doha could have instead been used to help the victims of the cyclone.

Others have questioned the state’s disaster preparedness as they always seem to beg for assistance every time disaster strikes yet they always find money to hire or charter planes for foreign trips.

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