Cyclone Batsirai hits Madagascar, fearing… "serious damage"

Amasiputsi Ghar – Madagascar (AFP) – 06/02/2022. 04:05

Madagascar.. Fears of major damage due to Cyclone Patsirai

  • Cyclone Batsirai hit Madagascar on Saturday evening, according to the meteorological department and local sources
  • The cyclone threatens “severe and extensive damage” in this island in the Indian Ocean
  • Wind and rain have continued since Friday on the island, which was hit by Tropical Storm Anna in January

Hurricane Batsirai hit Saturday evening Madagascaraccording to the Meteorological Department and local sources, with winds of up to 235 kilometers per hour, threatening “severe and extensive damage” in this island located in the Indian Ocean.

After two days of heavy rain on the French island of La Reunion, the cyclone made landfall in Manangari province, which is 530 km from the capital, Antananarivo.

“Paatsirai hit Manangari at about 20:00 local time” (1700 GMT), meteorologist Lovandraini Ratovohariswa said.

The official of the National Office of Risk and Disaster Management Vale Aritiana Fabian also confirmed that Patsirai made landfall “14 kilometers north of the city of Manangari, and reached the stage of a severe tropical cyclone”, with “winds of 165 kilometers per hour” and a gust of “235 kilometers per hour.” .

Cyclone Batsirai hits Madagascar, fearing "significant damage"

Prior to this, the Madagascar Meteorological Service had warned that “serious and extensive damage” was feared.

The Meteo France observatory had predicted, hours ago, that winds would blow “at a speed of more than 200 or even 250 kilometers per hour”, and the wave height could reach 10 to 15 meters, “and thus poses a very dangerous threat to the region.”

Wind and rain have continued since Friday on the island, which was hit by Tropical Storm Anna in January.

Anna, which also struck Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, killed 100 people – including 56 in Madagascar – Thousands are displaced.

In the coastal city of Vatumandri (east), more than two hundred people gathered in a room in a building owned by Chinese hours before the cyclone arrived, while families slept on a mattress.

Local official Thierry Louison Lippi complained of a shortage of potable water after supplies were cut off before the storm.

Cyclone Batsirai hits Madagascar, fearing "significant damage"

Outside, clay pots and plastic cups were set up to collect rainwater from the corrugated iron roofs, which were often reinforced with heavy sandbags.

Odette Nerina, 65, a hotel owner in the coastal city, said, “We stored items a week ago, rice and grain, because with the power outage, we could no longer keep meat or fish and also stored coal. We are used to hurricanes here.”

A spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned Friday that the effects of Cyclone Patzirai in Madagascar would be “significant”, including in areas hit by Storm Anna.

Pasqualina de Serio, director of the World Food Program for Madagascar, said she expected a “major crisis” on the island where the cyclone could affect more than 600,000 people, including 150,000 displaced people.

Cyclone Batsirai hits Madagascar, fearing "significant damage"

“Reinforcement of the roofs of houses”

Search and rescue teams were put on high alert, supplies were stored, and planes were put on alert to participate in any possible humanitarian operation.

One farmer in Madagascar expressed concern about the availability of food, explaining that the family had enough to eat until Saturday. “But as of Sunday we will not have anything to eat. We will try to find another solution, but if there is no food, we will eat bananas,” he said.

Cyclone Batsirai hits Madagascar, fearing "significant damage"

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimates the number of people at risk in one way or another at 4.4 million.

“Red Cross teams and partners in Madagascar are on alert and are deploying among the population to warn them of an approaching storm, while emergency stocks are being moved to make them easily accessible,” said Secretary-General Andoniana Ratsimamanga.

Each year during the hurricane season (November to April) about ten storms or cyclones cross the southwestern Indian Ocean, from east to west.

Cyclone Batsirai hits Madagascar, fearing "significant damage"

Hurricane Patsiray moved away Friday from the coast of the French island of Reunion, where a red alert for typhoons was raised, which forces residents to hole up inside their homes. 12 injuries were recorded.

Thirty paramedics on Thursday night rescued 11 Indian and Bangladeshi sailors from the oil tanker Trieste Star, which ran aground in the south of the island, in a “risky, technical and unprecedented” operation carried out in “extremely bad weather”, according to the authorities.

Cyclone Batsirai hits Madagascar, fearing "significant damage"

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