Natural Disasters

Alvaro, first cyclone of 2024, hits Madagascar

The country was hit by disastrous storms in January and February of 2023 as well

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 05 January 2024

Alvaro, the first cyclone of 2024, made landfall near Morombe in Madagascar on January 1, 2024. Over 16,100 people have been affected, including five deaths and 8,400 people displaced by the disaster.

Last year, Madagascar was hit by disastrous storms in January and February of 2023.

Tropical storm Cheneso made landfall on January 19, 2023, along the northeastern coast of the country. It killed 33 people and affected 90,870, according to Madagascar agency, National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management, BNGRC. 

Cyclone Freddy made landfall along Madagascar’s south-eastern coast on February 21, 2023. At least 19,000 people were displaced and 17 people were killed in the disaster.

It is extremely difficult to evacuate and drain rainwater towards the sea when it rains in areas like Morombe province, where Alvaro made landfall, according to media reports. Motor pumps are needed to remove stagnant water and early warning and preparedness would have averted the current disaster, experts quoted in these reports said.

The existing early warning systems in the Southern Africa region, including Madagascar, are inadequate to prevent loss of life and economic hardship.

The effects of Alvaro, a severe tropical storm, underscore Madagascar’s vulnerability to climate-related disasters once again. It underlines the growing importance of early warning for all, said the World Meteorological Organization.

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