Tropical cyclone Enawo brings destruction to Madagascar
Communities have been evacuated from north-eastern Madagascar as tropical cyclone Enawo brings destruction and flooding.
Aid organisations are warning that more than 700‚000 people could be affected by the storm.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that there have already been fatalities and numerous injuries as the category-four cyclone nears the capital Antananarivo.
Enawo has been classified as “severe” and is set to be the most destructive storm to hit the island east of Mozambique in years‚ with winds in excess of 190 km/h.
“Enawo struck near the city of Antalaha this morning local time as a Category 4 Tropical Cyclone‚ making it the strongest storm to hit the country since Tropical Cyclone Giovanna in February 2012‚ and comparable to Tropical Cyclone Ivan in 2008 which killed nearly 100 people and displaced 190‚000‚” said a Red Cross statement.
“Tropical Cyclones are not unusual for Madagascar at this time of year. However‚ the severity of Enawo is troubling‚” said Getachew Taa’‚ the Head of the Country Cluster Support Team for East Africa for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
“If it maintains its strength and performs as predicted‚ there could be significant wind damage across the island‚ and we could be facing serious floods and landslides‚” said Taa’.
The Malagasy Red Cross Society deployed more than 500 volunteers in and around Antalaha‚ the coastal town where the storm made landfall on Tuesday‚ to help communities prepare for the storm.
“The Red Cross will be able to immediately draw on pre-positioned emergency supplies for 500 families in the north-east‚ along with shelter and water‚ sanitation and hygiene kits for 1‚600 families in the capital Antananarivo‚” the organisation said in a statement.
“The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is working with partners in the region and in Madagascar to ensure that resources‚ including cash‚ are available immediately should a major response effort be needed‚” it said.
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