TROPICAL storm Chalane, which hit Zimbabwe Wednesday evening, has caused minor damages in some parts of Manicaland province and villagers who had been moved to evacuation centres have since started trooping back home.

More than 600 people had been evacuated in Chimanimani where it was expected the tropical storm would cause extensive damage.

In Chipinge, at the Tongogara Refugee Camp, over 100 refugee families were temporarily moved to higher ground.

“The Chalane weather system reached Zimbabwe in the evening of 30 December as a tropical depression, with heavy rains and bursts of strong winds in Chimanimani East in Manicaland Province, with some roofs of houses blown off, as well electricity and cellular network disruptions,” a report issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reads.

“Initial reports indicate that the eye of the storm passed over Cashel Valley to the north of Chimanimani. Minor damage has been reported to a few institutions, including Chimanimani hospital, Ndima school and a local church.

“More than 600 people arrived in evacuation centres in Chimanimani district, many of whom have reportedly already begun to return home, while more than 100 refugee families in the Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge district temporarily moved to higher ground.

“Some 153 people who were living in temporary shelters following their displacement by Cyclone Idai (in March 2019) were pre-emptively evacuated ahead of Chalane’s arrival: 97 are housed at Mutambara High School while 56 are housed at St. Patrick’s.

“Seventeen people with disabilities were identified among the internally displaced in Mutambara and St. Patrick’s and measures are being taken to provide them appropriate safety and support,” OCHA said.

It said the Directorate of Civil Protection was leading coordination of the response, with a focus on the evacuation centres.

“Assessments are ongoing to assess the extent of the damages. Humanitarian partners are supporting through deployment of supplies that were pre-positioned and available in the affected districts.”

After crossing Zimbabwe, the Chalane weather system could move towards Botswana and Namibia as a low pressure area, according to predictions.


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