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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

WATCH: Tropical Cyclone Emnati reaches Madagascar, won’t make it to SA

Cyclone Emnati reached the east coast of Madagascar, bringing with it torrential downpours and widespread flooding.

Tropical Cyclone Emnati made landfall in Madagascar on Tuesday, while communities in the region are still recovering from cyclones Ana, Batsirai and Dumako.

Cyclone Emnati reached the east coast of Madagascar on 22 February, and was over the Lakora district by 7am South African Standard Time (SAST) on Wednesday.

At the time of publishing, Emnati was located south of Mananovy, reaching 110 kilometres per hour. The cyclone’s path can be viewed on Zoom Earth in real-time.

Watch: Cyclone Emnati hits Madagascar

As per data collected from Madagascar weather body, Météo Madagascar, Cyclone Emnati will bring strong gusts of wind, heavy rain, and widespread flooding.

Forecasters predict winds of up to 140 kilometres per hour could be expected as the cyclone heads south-westwards over the island, before moving further south on Thursday.

South Africa

As per the SA Weather Service (Saws) however, Cyclone Emnati would not make landfall in South Africa. That said, the cyclone’s impact is still being assessed and further updates will be provided as necessary.

Madagascar residents in Atsimo Atsinanana, Ihorombe, Anosy, Androy, Benenitra, Betioky and Ampanihy were warned of imminent danger.

Photo: Unicef Madagascar

While no alerts were issued for Beroroha, Ankazoabo, Sakaraha, Morombe and Toliara I-II in Madagscar, residents were warned weather conditions may pose a threat.

Relief efforts

On Wednesday, UNICEF teams were on the ground to assist affected residents and distribute relief supplies, while the World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa will focus on “health emergencies and preventing potential diseases outbreak”.

Cyclone Emnati is expected to exit Madagascar Wednesday evening, but the risk of torrential downpours and widespread flooding remains in the southern and southeastern districts.

Preparing for the worst

Meanwhile, United Nations agencies say they would be preparing for the worst – “up to 250 millimetres in the space of 24 hours on the flat and from 400 to 500mm at higher altitudes”.

Madagascar is still reeling from three prior tropical storms. Cyclone Batsirai claimed 121 lives and displaced more than 270,000 residents back in January.

Tropical Storm Ana displaced 21,000 people last month, while more than 5,000 were affected by Dumako on 15 February, according to the UN humanitarian coordination body, OCHA.

NOW READ: Madagascar cyclone toll rises to 92 amid calls for aid

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