Meteo warns of heavy rains during weekend

Heavy rainfall and strong winds are expected in most parts of the country. / File.

Heavy rainfall and strong winds are expected in most parts of the country, from Friday, April 17 through 20, according to a weather warning notice issued by Rwanda Meteorology Agency.

The forecast predicts precipitation ranging between 10 and 50 millimeters per day in the city of Kigali, the Eastern, Southern and Western provinces, sparing Northern Province.

 

“Expected heavy rains are attributed to the convergence winds and increased moisture over the region,” said Aimable Gahigi, the agency’s Director-General in a statement.

 

Strong wind ranging between 5 and 10 meters per second is also expected during the forecasting period, especially in Eastern Province.

 

Climate records have shown the region is often prone to disastrous winds due to its even topography.

“Contingency measures should, therefore, be put in place to avoid the likelihood of negative impacts which may be associated with heavy rainfall and strong wind,” the statement further reads.

The weather warning is released after weather-induced hazards caused damages in the last few days.

During the night of Thursday, April 16, heavy rains claimed three lives mostly in Southern Province while tens of houses were destroyed.

Before this on April 9, 165 houses and infrastructure including churches, schools and health facilities were destroyed by heavy rains in Ruhango and Muhanga districts of the Southern Province.

The incident swept away reportedly over 6.5 hectares of farmland.

A week before, more than 120 houses were blown away and two lives were lost over a lightning strike in western districts of Nyabihu and Rubavu.

Notwithstanding the damages, the weather agency had in early March warned of enhanced rainfall through May, usually a period of a long-rainy season.

Western Rwanda, according to the April forecast, will receive most rainfall compared to other parts of the country.

Since last September, Rwanda has witnessed the worst climate conditions in recent history.

Until March 27, the Ministry of Emergency Management had reported about 80 people killed and 124 injured by rain-related disasters since January this year.

Floods, rainstorms, lightning and landslides are the major causes of the damages and fatalities.

The ministry of Emergency Management urges the public to check the conditions of their houses, fasten their roofs and avoid disaster-prone areas such as rivers and steep hills.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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