I am sure most of you have heard about the Madagascar Cyclones and the destruction on the news…. Madagascar is a tropical island in the Indian ocean and therefore tropical cyclones are expected around the beginning months of the year – even though are expected they are still shocking when they do ‘hit’ this wonderful red-island. Madagascar, unfortunately, experienced a double hit last week when Cyclone Eric hit the island and shortly after Cyclone Fanele hit the island…. These cyclones brought forth rains, injuries, fatalities and destruction.
Last Monday Tropical Cyclone Eric hit the south-eastern part of Madagascar. As usual, a cyclone of this size brought along strong winds and heavy rains. Cyclone Eric affected 1960 people and damaged approximately 1652 buildings and homes. Unfortunately, it caused one death and injured 27 people while leaving about 992 people without shelter. This storm hit the eastern coast with wind speeds of about 100km/h!
Only two days later the more severe and damaging cyclone, Cyclone Fanele, hit the west coast of Madagascar. This cyclone destroyed buildings and flooded large areas…. This cyclone was more destructive and forceful then Cyclone Eric! Wind speeds went up to about 210 km/h! Morondava (on the western coastal side of Madagascar) was particularly badly hit as it has been left without water and electricity – damage and causalities are still unknown.
Tropical cyclones are a normal occurrence for the summer rainy season of Madagascar. Last year Madagascar was plagued with a hectic cyclone – Cyclone Ivan – which devastated a large part of the island leaving hundreds homeless and 110 people dead. In retrospect the latest cyclones nowhere near this scale of disaster.
According to tour operators and the Madagascar Consulate – travel and tours are continuing as normal and flights are still landing at the Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo. However, one should be ready for heavy rains and strong winds in the southern parts of Madagascar over the next few days – this may affect flights. Please note that if you are travelling to the southern parts of Madagascar you may experience some damage and flooding.
However, the south-west part of Madagascar (which was worst hit my Cyclone Fanele) is not a major tourist region… Though, Morondava is a town that is regularly visited by tourists. Most of the tourism and tours run though the north areas and the east coast… These areas besides the east coast (which was hit by Cyclone Eric) are less damaged.