Cyclone Batsirai Inching Closer to Madagascar, 4 Million People at Risk

Intense Tropical Cyclone Batsirai is continuing to intensify as it moves closer to Madagascar. On the latest Météo France bulletin, the cyclone has 10-minute winds of 185 kph (115 mph), with gusts reaching as high as 260 kph (160 mph). The agency also reported a minimum central pressure of 934 hPa. The storm is located 330 km (205 mi) west-northwest of La Réunion and 403 km (250 mi) east-south east of Vatomandry, Madagascar. The storm’s movement is to the west at a speed of 9 kph (6 mph.) Force Thirteen’s Cyclone Destruction Potential Scale (CDPS) rating is currently at Stage 7, meaning catastrophic damages will be brought by the storm.

Current Warnings:

The latest warnings in Madagascar for Batsirai, courtesy of Meteo Madagascar’s 12pm UTC update.

Red Cyclone Warning:

  • Southern portions of Analanjirofo, Alaotra-Mangoro
  • Eastern portions of Analamanga, Vakinankaratra, Bongolava, Amoron’i Mania, Matsiatra Ambony, and Ihorombe
  • Atsinanana
  • Fitovinany
  • Vatovavy
  • Atsimo-Atsinanana

Yellow Cyclone Warning:

  • Central portions of Analanjirofo, Alaotra-Mangoro
  • Western portions of Analamanga, Vakinankaratra, Bongolava, Amoron’i Mania, Matsiatra Ambony, and Ihorombe
  • Southwestern portion of Melaky
  • Menabe
  • Atsimo-Andrefana
  • Androy
  • Anosy

Green Cyclone Warning:

  • Northern portions of Analanjirofo, Alaotra-Mangoro
  • Eastern and central portion of Betsiboka
  • Southern portions of Sava, Sofia

Authorities and the International Federation of the Red Cross predict that about 4.4 million people are at risk across 14 districts; with about 595,000 expected to be directly affected, and more than 150,000 likely to be displaced. They’re rushing necessary preparations especially to the region of Atsinanana. The Madagascar government also identified and set up safe buildings which will be utilized as emergency accommodation centres.

Authorities fear that Batsirai will make recovery efforts on areas affected by Tropical Cyclone Ana as another storm is set to pass the island. Heavy rain that could cause flooding and damaging winds could hamper the recovery efforts in the island nation. The storm could cause infrastructures dedicated to the efforts could be damaged or destroyed by the storm. At least 55 deaths have been recorded and more than 130,000 people have been displaced.

Meanwhile in earlier affected Mauritius, eleven sailors – seven Indians and four Bangladeshis have been rescued from a Mauritian tanker after it suffered engine trouble and began to drift towards Réunion Island. It took rescuers six hours to take sailors out of the tanker that ended at 21:00 local time on Thursday.

Residents of Madagascar should have already finished or nearing completion of their preparation for the upcoming strong cyclone. Listen to authorities if ordered to move to a safer place. Get updates from us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as the storm approaches the coast.

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