Madagascar: Deadly Cyclone Likely to Hit Again
By Rivonala Razafison,
Antananarivo — A powerful cyclone that hit the Madagascar is again threatening to touch down, just days after killing eight people and displacing about 40,000 others.
The eye of Cyclone Giovanna was located some 175 kilometres south-east of Tolagnaro — a town about 1,110 kilometres south of the capital Antananarivo — today at 6am, the Malagasy Meteorological Service said.
The cyclone made landfall Monday in the sugar-producing district of Brickaville in eastern Madagascar, causing massive damage there before going through the central islands and exiting in the south-west.
Humanitarian efforts have since been under way and a new storm would further complicate ongoing relief efforts being co-ordinated by the National Office for Disaster Preparedness.
Meteorologists have since issued further warnings of a second landfall.
The cyclone is said to have intensified in severity after heading towards southern Mozambique.
The island normally uses town criers to alert the public in times of anticipated major storms.
The category four storm was first sighted nine days ago at 1,650 kilometres in the Indian Ocean and was 1,000 kilometres in diameter.
Strong winds and heavy rainfall destroyed about 8,475 houses, with 4,230 completely crushed, according to official data.
Over 100 schools, hospitals, churches and offices were also damaged. Landslides ripped trees.
Damaged bridges, especially those on the road serving linking the capital city Antananarivo and the eastern port city of Toamasina, have paralysed transport.
Madagascar is one of Africa’s most exposed countries to tropical cyclones, being hit by around 60 per cent of the storms formed in the Indian Ocean basin.
An annual average of 3-4 intense tropical cyclones with winds of up to 200 kilometres have made landfall since the 1990s.
Computer modelling shows around 263 cyclones are expected to hit the island nation by 2100.
Cyclone Geralda, one of the worst to hit the island, touched down in 1994.