Weatherman warns of strong winds

Strong sustained winds of speed between 8 m/s and 12m/s are expected (Net photo)

Rwanda Meteorology Agency has warned of strong winds predicated to gust across different parts of the country, especially in areas of the Eastern Province, this week.

Strong sustained winds of speed between 8 m/s and 12m/s are expected on March 14, 15 and 16, the agency said in a statement.

The latest forecast indicates that this could have effect on infrastructure and other activities. This could also promote areas of blowing dust.  

Citizens have been advised to take precautionary measures. Such winds have in the past caused property damage and power outages.

The weatherman said strong winds are normally experienced at the beginning of the rainy season.

Anthony Twahirwa, the Division Manager of climate services at Rwanda Meteorology Agency told The New Times that the predicted strong winds could be followed with rain, asking people to be aware of this and take necessary measures.

“In most cases, these winds are followed with rain. This may cause damage to properties and crops. Institutions in charge of emergency management are always ready to help those who may be affected, but we ask people to take individual measures,” he said.

Such individual precautions include strengthening the walls, and sometimes avoid staying closer to windows and doors.

Unlike strong winds, Rwanda has in the past experienced heavy rains resulting into flooding, landslides and lightning. However, an assessment conducted indicated that last year Rwanda experienced the worst national disaster.

Disaster induced damages caused more than Rwf204 billion in economic losses between January and June 2018, an assessment conducted in 15 districts most affected by disasters shows.

The damages caused by the disasters — floods, landslides and lightning — included destruction of 15, 264 houses and 9,412 hectares of crops, as well as death of 797 livestock.

This loss was equivalent to 10 per cent of the total annual national budget for Rwanda.

Disasters also killed 234 people from January to October 2018 and injured 268 people, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs says.