Madagascar braces for cyclone blowing in from Indian Ocean

Feb 2, 2022, 5:18 PM | Updated: Feb 3, 2022, 7:19 am
In this image supplied by EUMETSAT from satellite Meteosat 8 taken at 09.15 UTC on Wednesday, Feb. ...

In this image supplied by EUMETSAT from satellite Meteosat 8 taken at 09.15 UTC on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, Cyclone Batsirai is seen to the east of Madagascar. Forecasts say Tropical Cyclone Batsirai is increasing in intensity and is expected to pass north of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius on Wednesday evening and make landfall in central Madagascar on Saturday afternoon. (EUMETSAT via AP)


ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) — Madagascar is bracing for a new cyclone even as the Indian Ocean island recovers from a tropical storm that wreaked devastation last month.

Cyclone Batsirai is forecast to hit the island’s east coast on Saturday with heavy winds and rains, according to Madagascar’s Department of Meteorology.

The storm has already blown by the islands of Mauritius and Reunion, killing at least person in Mauritius and causing widespread power cuts.

In January, Cyclone Ana and other heavy rains in Madagascar caused 55 deaths and made 131,000 people homeless. About 15,000 people have not yet been able to return to their homes, according to the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management.

Batsirai (which means help in the Shona language) may be even more destructive and could force 150,000 people to leave their homes and badly affect about 595,000 others, according to officials.

“We must be very vigilant,” Gen. Elack Andriankaja, director-general of the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, said Thursday. “The capital will not be spared … We have already warned residents to leave areas at risk, such as the banks of rivers and the sea, areas vulnerable to landslides and houses that will not withstand gusts of wind and the onset of heavy rains.”

In Antananarivo, the capital, many low-lying neighborhoods that were flooded in January are expecting renewed inundation from the approaching cyclone.

“We must now prepare to welcome many more disaster victims than before,” Ranto Rakotonjanahary, director-general of the Authority for the Protection against Floods in the Antananarivo Plain, said.

The east coast of Madagascar, the world’s fourth-largest island, is already experiencing cloudy, windy weather as the cyclone approaches, according to the commander of the gendarmerie group of Vatomandry, Capt. Achille Rakotomavo.

“We are all preparing for the cyclone, in particular with the reinforcement of the roofs. We are using the radio to warn people who live near the sea. These people need to leave now,” he said.

Madagascar has suspended school classes from Friday.

“To prepare for the cyclone, people are putting sandbags on the roofs of their houses. Fishermen are no longer going out to sea,” said Asmina Baonantenaina, a resident of Tamatave, Madagascar’s second-largest city and largest port. As it is on the island’s east coast, 340 kilometers (211 miles) east of Antananarivo, Tamatave is expected to be the first center hit by Batsirai.

“We live 200 meters (218 yards) from the beach and we reinforced the fence of our yard,” she said. “Today, we are going to stock up on groceries because we were told that we should no longer go out on Saturday.”


AP journalist Wanjohi Kabukuru in Mombasa, Kenya, contributed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Photo from Flickr...
Associated Press

Washington kills 2 wolves to prevent preying on cattle

Biologists working for Washington have killed two members of the Leadpoint wolf pack this week in an effort to stop the pack from preying on cattle
16 hours ago
FILE - A gasoline price board is displayed at a gas station in San Francisco, Tuesday, July 19, 202...
Associated Press

Newsom relaxes refinery rules as California gas prices soar

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced that oil refineries could start selling more polluting winter-blend gasoline ahead of schedule to ease soaring fuel prices, directly contradicting his own goals for reducing climate emissions. The average cost of a gallon of gas was $6.30 in California on Friday, far above the […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Ex-president of Kentucky college files lawsuit over firing

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The former president of a small Kentucky college who was fired after allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct involving employees has filed a lawsuit against the school claiming defamation and breach of contract. William A. Jones, who was fired in November as president of Georgetown College, denies any sexual misconduct […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

US defense chief in Hawaii amid distrust after fuel spill

HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Hawaii this week amid lingering community frustration and distrust after jet fuel from a military storage facility last year spilled into Pearl Harbor’s drinking water, poisoned thousands of military families and threatened the purity of Honolulu’s water supply. Austin was in Hawaii to meet with his […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Iowa high school shooting defendant takes plea deal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — One of the 10 teenagers charged with murder in a drive-by shooting death of a 15-year-old boy outside a downtown Des Moines high school in March has entered a plea deal with prosecutors and a second is considering a plea. Court documents said Manuel Buezo, 17, entered the guilty plea […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

In Your Debt: 3 steps to lower the cost of your debt

Does the thought of dealing with your debt make you want to go back to bed? More than 1 in 5 Americans (22%) are likely to put off creating a debt payoff plan, according to a June 2022 survey from NerdWallet conducted online by The Harris Poll. That’s a lot of procrastination, and it’s no […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Madagascar braces for cyclone blowing in from Indian Ocean