BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Chimanimani residents who had been moved to safe areas ahead of the anticipated devastating effects of Cyclone Chalane have started moving out of evacuation centres with the last batch expected to go back to their homes today.
The move brings relief to the government that was apparently struggling to feed the villagers in the safe havens.
There were fears that Chimanimani would be hit hard by the Tropical Cyclone Chalane which appeared to have taken both the path and characteristics of Cyclone Idai which wreaked havoc in the area in March 2019, leaving a trail of destruction while killing hundreds of people.
The government yesterday confirmed the new development to The Standard.
Heavy rains pounded Nyanga with strong winds on Friday night and there were reports of panic among villagers as the rainfall recorded up to 70 millilitres.
Mutare had recorded 42 millilitres while Chimanimani got less than 30 millilitres when the downgraded tropical depression hit Zimbabwe according to the metrological services department.
Manicaland Provincial Development Coordinator and Civil Protection Unit chairperson Edgar Seenza said villagers in Chimanimani urban had already gone back to their respective areas.
“People are starting to move out from the evacuation centres since the tropical depression has passed Zimbabwe. In Chimanimani urban they have since gone back to their respective areas,” he said.
“Those housed at Mutambara High School, mostly Ngangu villagers, are expected to move out of the evacuation centre tomorrow (today),” he said.
“We are also expecting to move people out of St Patricks the same day with those at Mutambara High School.”
Seenza yesterday said he had received a disturbing report of heavy rains in Nyanga.
“I have just been told that last night on Friday , there were heavy rains in Nyanga. The area recorded 70 millilitres of rainfall and there were strong winds,” he said.
“I am yet to receive a report of any destruction, but I will be briefed later. I am urging people in Nyanga not to panic because these are normal rains.”
The tropical depression has since passed Zimbabwe heading towards Botswana.