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Monday, 13 February 2012

Madagascar Cyclone - Giovenna

On 12 February the Malagasy authorities issued a cyclone alert for all areas along the East coast from Sambava to Farafanga. Cyclone Giovenna is expected to make land fall on or around 13 February. Wind speeds of 118-165 km/hour are expected.

Pure Safari has been further advised this morning from Antananarivo:

The cyclone intensified significantly overnight and now Intense Tropical Cyclone GIOVANNA (Category 4) will be making landfall this afternoon/evening, to the south of Tamatave (Toamasina) with wind gusts in excess of 250km/h. moving in the direction of Antananarivo.

There are very few tourists in county at the moment so impact on them should be low, any on the east coast around Tamatave should have been moved already. Tour opertors are advised to watch the situation if they have clients there or arriving there in the next few days.

When Giovanna gets to the island between late Monday and early Tuesday, the system should bring substantial impact. Sustained winds over 115 mph with gusts over 130 mph are forecast for landfall. Rough surf, flooding rains and storm surge will all be serious concerns to those on the island as well.

Locations away from the coast are not exempt, as torrential rains will only lead to mudslides in the mountainous rainforests inland.

Madagascar may not be enough to completely weaken the system by the time it reaches the west coast of Madagascar, and will enter the Mozambique Channel. Computer models currently point to the system successfully crossing Madagascar and entering the Mozambique Channel. There it may re-intensify before impacting the Mozambique coast.

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