With heavy rainfall continuing in the Southern African region, Zimbabwe's Civil Protection Department is urging people who live near Kariba Dam in Mashonaland West province to move to higher ground before its flood gates are opened to ease mounting pressure.
Officials issued flood warnings this week as rains swept Southern Africa causing scores of deaths in South Africa and Mozambique and ravaging crops in Zimbabwe.
Civil Protection Department Director Madzudzo Pawadyira said his agency had warned related authorities that it may need urgent assistance in the event of flooding and has already started issuing tents and supplies to area susceptible to floods.
Pawadyira said flooding was reported in Tongogara, Middle Sabi and Chipinge, all in Manicaland province, but had subsided due to a respite in the rains.
He said traditional flood prone areas needed to be watched included lowlands around Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central province, Beitbridge in Matebeleland South province, Tsholotsho in Matebeleland North, Gokwe in Midlands.
Pawadyira told VOA Studio 7 reportern Marvellous Mhlanga Nyahuye that his agency has launched a massive awareness campaign to instruct inhabitants of low lying areas to take timelyl precautions against possible flooding.
In the event of flooding, Pawadyira said people should move to higher ground, avoid crossing rivers and draw on their knowledge of local rivers to determine safe crossings should need arise, and to find secure shelter until flooding subsides.