17 fatalities as Tropical Cyclone "Eliakim" moves over Madagascar

17 fatalities as Tropical Cyclone

Tropical Cyclone "Eliakim" hit Madagascar's Mananara region on March 17 with wind speeds of 85 km/h (53 mph) and gusts to 120 km/h (75 mph). It then moved over the provinces of Analanjirofo and Antsinanana over the next 2 days, killing at least 17 people and leaving over 6 000 displaced. The storm dropped over 200 mm (7.8 inches) of rain in some areas within 24 hours and continued heading off the central and southeastern coast of Madagascar as a tropical storm. 

At least 17 people were killed and 15 772 affected as Tropical Cyclone "Eliakim" hit eastern Madagascar over the weekend, authorities confirmed early Monday, March 19, 2018.

1 271 homes have been damaged and 648 destroyed, leaving 6 282 displaced. National authorities also reported that the access to the affected areas may be a major constraint due to a large number of landslides and flooded roads.

Tropical Cyclone Eliakim damage in Madagascar - March 2018

Image credit: Hasina Rakotondraina

Tropical Cyclone Eliakim on March 16, 2018

Tropical Cyclone "Eliakim" on March 16, 2018. Credit: NASA/NOAA SuomiNPP/VIIRS

Tropical Cyclone Eliakim damage in Madagascar - March 2018

Image credit: BNGRC

Tropical Cyclone Eliakim damage in Madagascar - March 2018

Image credit: BNGRC

Tropical Cyclone Eliakim damage in Madagascar - March 2018

Image credit: BNGRC

Tropical Cyclone Eliakim damage in Madagascar - March 2018

Image credit: BNGRC

Tropical Cyclone Eliakim damage in Madagascar - March 2018

Image credit: Hasina Rakotondraina

At 00:00 UTC on March 19, the center of Tropical Storm "Eliakim" was located 130 km (81 miles) SE of Manakara, Vatovavy-Fitovinany and was moving S at 18 km/h (11.5 mph) with maximum sustained winds of 83 km/h (51 mph). 

Over the next 24 hours, it is forecast to keep heading southeast away from land, while strengthening. Heavy rain and strong winds may still affect northern, central and southern Madagascar and La Reunion on March 19 and 20.

Meteo Madagascar has published a red alert for strong winds in the southeastern areas of the country. Meteo France La Reunion has issued an orange alert for strong winds for the southwestern areas of the island.

The last cyclone to strike Madagascar was Ava in January 2018. That storm left 51 people dead.

Tropical Cyclone Eliakim RSMC La Reunion forecast track on March 19, 2018

Featured image: Floods after Tropical Cyclone "Eliakim" hits Madagascar on March 17 and 18, 2018. Credit: BNGRC

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