from MARIO RAJOMAZANDRY in Antananarivo, Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, (CAJ News) – TROPICAL Cyclone Alvaro has displaced hundreds of people and affected thousands others after making landfall in Madagascar.
It is the latest in a litany of weather phenomena to afflict the Indian Ocean island.
After forming in the Mozambique Channel on December 30-31, Alvaro made landfall over the southwestern-central coast of Madagascar on January 1.
It then continued eastwards and crossed southern-central Madagascar on January 2.
On Wednesday this week, its centre was located over the sea approximately 300 km east of Farafangana City in Atsimo-Atsinanana Region, with maximum sustained winds of 95 km/h.
The National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC) reports that more than 400 people have been displaced. They have been relocated to six evacuation sites. Some 4 543 people in total have been affected.
In addition, six schools were completely destroyed and four others damaged.
Atsimo-Andrefana, Haute Matsiatra and Menabe are the worst-hit regions.
Meteo Madagascar has forecast Alvaro to move south-east weakening and dissipating over the sea.
At the time of publication, moderate rain was expected over most of Madagascar, including the southern-central regions.
Alvaro is forecast to re-intensify into a tropical storm on Thursday and weaken again into a tropical depression a day later.
Officials have also warned mariners in some regions to avoid going out to sea.
Sustained heavy rainfall could trigger flooding in low-lying areas and those with easily overwhelmed drainage systems.
Flash flooding and landslides are possible.
Experts warned the inclement weather could trigger localized business, transport, and utility disruptions, rendering some bridges or roadways impassable.
– CAJ News