What the people of Chipinge and Chimanimani described as an explosion before the coming of Cyclone Idai has been found to be a 3.8 magnitude earthquake, Government has revealed.

During his two visits to Chimanimani and Chipinge, President Mnangagwa highlighted that there was an unexplained phenomenon that happened in the areas which experts should investigate.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa briefing journalists after the eleventh meeting of Cabinet in Harare yesterday said:

“Cabinet has established that the scale of the disaster was to some extent exacerbated by a 3.8 magnitude earthquake which hit the Chimanimani areas shortly before the onset of the cyclone,” she said.

“A team of experts is currently on the ground in the Chimanimani and Chipinge areas carrying out a disaster vulnerability assessment exercise with a view to determining the suitable long term settlement and land use patterns.

“Plans are also underway to establish monuments in honour of the departed persons in places such as Ngangu, Machongwe and Copa.

“Priority continues to be accorded to the repair or construction of damaged roads, and bridges, schools infrastructure, health infrastructure and provision of large scale psycho-social support.”

As part of efforts to bring closure to the issue of missing persons as a result of the cyclone, Minister Mutsvangwa said Government would send a team of pathologists to Mozambique to take samples of the remains of Zimbabweans buried in that country to conduct DNA tests.

“The search and recovery process is now confined to recovery of the deceased as the missing persons can now be presumed to be dead,” she said…herald