Met issues strong winds, large waves alert

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The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned of extremely strong winds that could blow off roofs and cause structural damage in eastern parts of the country and cause large waves along the coastline.

The Met office said the extreme weather conditions expected to be experienced from Thursday going on into the weekend will be in northern Kenya, lower eastern and the coastal region.

The department urged fishermen in the Indian Ocean, especially those with small boats to take extra precaution starting Friday evening.

"Strong southerly winds of more than 30 knots are expected over the areas starting on Thursday going into the weekend,” stated the Met department's orange alert issued on Wednesday morning.

According to the department, the coastal areas are expected to experience intense tidal waves and swell surges, triggered by the severe weather conditions.

On Friday, severe swell surges will cause intense tidal waves in the coast, and waters carried by the tidal waves onto the shores are expected to cause damage to residences and property, revealed the department.

Officials warned residents on the shores with unsteady structures to be particularly careful from Friday.

The extreme weather conditions will surge through 3am Friday at the coast going into the weekend.

“The wind speed is expected to strengthen to more than 40 knots (20.6 M/S) on Friday 17th July, 3am. The strong winds are likely to reduce to 30 knots on Saturday,” said the alert.

The department has also urged individuals in the coastal parts of the country especially those plying their trade along the shores of Indian Ocean to be cautious of tidal waves with predictions of swell wave surges during high tide times of more than three metres, on Friday. These are however predicted to reduce to 2.5 meters on Sunday.

The meteorological experts called on those in the areas of concern to be on high alert, urging people to continue listening to local media as updates will be provided if conditions change significantly.

“Residents in all mentioned areas are advised to be on the lookout for potential gale (very strong winds) and very large waves over the Indian Ocean. Strong winds may blow off roofs, uproot trees and cause structural damages,” the alert adding, “Very high waves may lower visibility, cause capsizing of boats and threaten the safety of those engaging in water sports and recreational activities”.

 Those in the areas of concern should be on high alert. People are urged to continue listening to local media as updates will be provided if conditions change significantly. Further advisories may be issued as we follow the progress of these weather events.

The principal at the Met department, David Koros, told the Nation that the conditions were very high risk, calling on the people using those areas like fishermen to take precaution as storm surge waters may end up affecting the shorelines.

“If conditions get worse then the department will issue an updated alert as we follow the progress of these weather events,” he added.