JUST IN: Cyclone Veronica strikes 48 hours after another cyclone wreaked havoc

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Reports say a second cyclone has brought winds and torrential rains to coastal regions of Australia.

Cyclone Veronica (category four system) has made landfall in the western territory of Australia, 48 hours after Cyclone Trevor brought destruction in the Northern territories as a category four system.

After lingering approximately 95km off the Australia’s North-West coast, Authorities say it has made landfall in Australia causing heavy rainfall and large waves threatening to cause widespread flooding.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology says the area stretching from Karratha to Port Hedland was enduring gale-force winds of more than 125km/h, causing trees to snap and minor power outages.

The northern area faced similar conditions on Saturday when Cyclone Trevor entered the remote communities of Numbulwar and Borroloola.

Many locals had already taken precautions and reinforced their homes with sandbags and stocked up on food and water supplies.

Reports say Cyclone Veronica was a category four system but it downgraded during the weekend whilst Cyclone Trevor was ravaging the northern area of Australia.

Australian meteorologist Steph Bond says the two cyclone occurrences were unusual.

“It really is quite unusual for two cyclones to happen at the same time, particularly two very strong systems,” said Bond.

There has been no report of injuries, or destruction of infrastructure in both regions.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe yesterday received a 95-tonne consignment of aid from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to assist the victims of Cyclone Idai, while the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) weighed in with US$500 000 towards the cause.

The donations were received by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo, Deputy Minister for Local Government Jennifer Mhlanga and other senior Government officials.

SADC put up a US$500 000 emergency fund for disaster mitigation.

In a statement, SADC chairman President Hage Geingob of Namibia said the contribution is “in solidarity with the affected countries as they recover from the tragedy” caused by Cyclone Idai.

Mozambique, which is the hardest hit, will receive US$200 000, with Zimbabwe and Malawi receiving US$150 000 each.

The SADC chair applauded other member states for the support which they extended to the affected communities.

“SADC appreciates the overwhelming support extended to the communities by member states, cooperating partners and mostly citizens of the three countries. SADC stands in solidarity with the three countries as they recover from the tragedy.

“In this regard, SADC has contributed a total of US$500 000 as follows, US$200 000 to Mozambique, and US$150 000 to Malawi and US$150 000 to Zimbabwe. We call upon all our partners within and beyond the region to continue supporting the rescue operations and in providing the needed humanitarian assistance,” he said.

He called upon SADC member states to redouble their efforts to strengthen disaster risk management capacities as emphasised in the SADC Disaster Preparedness and Response Strategy adopted in 2016 and to fully operationalise the necessary collaborative mechanisms to ensure rapid responses to disasters.

“In view of the increased occurrence of climate related catastrophes, such as cyclones, floods and droughts around the world and especially in the SADC region, SADC reiterates its call for joint global efforts to reduce global warming and the impacts of climate change and variability while stepping up efforts to enhance adaptive capacities of developing countries,” he said.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo (centre) and his Health and Child Care counterpart Obadiah Moyo look at a consignment of goods donated by United Arab Emirates Red Crescent for cyclone Idai victims at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare yesterday.

He sent his condolence messages to the affected countries and the bereaved families.

“The Cyclone, which killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands others, left a trail of destruction to land and infrastructure affecting accessibility and provision of health care and welfare to the affected communities. SADC expresses heartfelt condolences to the people and governments of the three countries and indeed to the bereaved families.”

Receiving the 95-tonne consignment from the United Arab Emirates in cooperation with the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, Minister Moyo thanked the UAE for the good gesture which he said will go a long way in assisting the 26 villages that were affected by the cyclone.

“The major thing is to reach to families and the 26 villages we have identified. At the moment, we cannot access areas except by air. We are working hard to open up new

“You (UAE), Red Crescent and Red Cross have been assisting with medicines. We need to restore water and electricity in Chimanimani.

“While we are focusing on the epicentre which is the Eastern Chimanimani we also need to look at other areas such as Gutu, Bikita, Zaka and Buhera.

“We thank the leadership for all we have received. This is because of the good relations established by our President Mnangagwa,” he said.

— StateMedia


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