By Mary Taruvinga
GOVERNMENT has ordered schools in provinces likely to be hit by Cyclone Freddy to close starting this Friday when the storm is expected to hit Zimbabwe.
A circular by the Primary and Secondary Education ministry gleaned by NewZimbabwe.com said the Cyclone is likely to hit some parts of the country this Friday and Saturday resulting in flash floods in some areas.
Intense Tropical Cyclone Freddy, a particularly powerful and compact tropical system, made a landfall in Madagascar on 21 February.
Devastating effects including death of four people have been recorded in Madagascar.
Education ministry permanent secretary, Tumisang Thabela said schools in areas likely to be affected should close starting Friday.
“Tropical Storm Freddy may bring heavy rains over Eastern Zimbabwe and, thereafter, spread to other parts of the country from 24 to 25 February 2023.
“In view of the impending heavy rains, all institutions providing Primary and Secondary Education are advised that localised flash floods caused by Tropical Storm Freddy are probable in parts of Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South, (parts bordering Masvingo) Mashonaland East Mashonaland Central provinces as well as Harare Metropolitan province.
“The above named areas have been placed on high alert and a result of this extreme weather likelihood no pupils within the above named areas are to attend school or face to face instruction on Friday 24 February 2023,” said Thabela.
She also said student boarders are to remain in their hostels and continue with their studies via alternative learning modes from the confines of a safe environment.
“Heads of schools in these provinces are advised to exercise caution by notifying day pupils not to attend school on Friday 24 February 2023 or to attempt to cross any flooded rivers.
“Please be guided accordingly,” reads the circular.
The Meteorological Services Department has forecasted heavy rainfall and strong winds in the hit areas starting this evening until Sunday, with localised heavy rainfall in excess of 50 mm and flash flooding in areas with saturated soils.