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Madagascar: Cyclone Giovanna Hits Madagascar

Cyclone Giovanna has struck Madagascar and lashed the island with powerful winds of up to 194 kilometres per hour. Giovanna made landfall at one a.m. in the village of Andevoranto, in Brickaville district south of Toamasina.

Initial reports indicate that houses have been destroyed and roofs have blown off, especially near Vatomandry and Mahanoro. There is some flooding in the central area. However, communication is difficult throughout the region due to widespread power outages.

A Medair emergency response team took shelter in the central city of Tana. The cyclone passed right over them starting at about four a.m. “There were winds and rain from four to seven a.m., and then suddenly all was calm for an hour,” said Yves-Pascal Suter, Medair Country Director. “The eye of the cyclone was just over Tana.”

An hour later, the rain and winds resumed strongly again. Throughout the day, there has been no power in Tana and no shops open.

“From the information we have now, it appears that this cyclone was stronger than Bingiza—which struck the island exactly one year ago,” said Yves-Pascal. “We are expecting damage, but reports suggest that it is contained in a limited zone and not the whole east coast.”

Medair is now coordinating with local authorities and with other NGOs to provide a focused assessment and possible emergency response for people in need. Our team will travel by air to Brickaville and Vatomandary on Wednesday to observe the damage and determine what kind of emergency response may be needed.

“We plan to carry a motorbike by air along with a mobile office for communications including a generator and computer,” said Yves-Pascal. “We aim to land on the coast at Vatomandary so that the Medair team can check out what is happening on the ground.”

We will bring you more updates on the situation as soon as they become available.

Your donations are urgently needed to support our emergency response
for the people of Madagascar. Thank you!

Read more about Medair’s work in Madagascar.

This web update was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.



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