As Cyclone Freddy makes landfall, winds lash Madagascar's coast

Tropical Cyclone Freddy can be seen moving toward Madagascar in satellite imagery

A tropical cyclone that tore roofs off of homes and unleashed a storm surge along Madagascar's east coast has resulted in at least one fatality.

A few weeks after another tropical storm that killed 33 people and left thousands without shelter, Cyclone Freddy made landfall.

Both the suspension of traffic and the closing of schools.

Freddy previously damaged hotels near the beach in Mauritius.

The island nation in the Indian Ocean is especially at risk from cyclones. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, it experiences the highest rate of cyclones in Africa, with an average of 1 point 5 per year.

When the cyclone made landfall on Madagascar, which is located off the southeast coast of Africa, wind gusts reached 130 km/h (81 mph). The nation's meteorological service issued a warning that intense rainstorms would continue to move through its path.

"The sea is still very choppy. and there will be a significant risk of coastal flooding overnight," it said.

Before the storm hit land, authorities reported that a 27-year-old man drowned close to the port of Mahanoro.

The International Federation of Red Cross issued warnings that waves could reach over 8 meters (26 feet) in height, and officials added that 7,000 people had been evacuated beforehand from the coastal area directly in Freddy's path.

Sandbags were sometimes used as preventative measure to weigh down roofs.

"All the doors and windows started shaking," said Tahina, a resident of Mananjary, a coastal community of about 25,000 people located 30 kilometers from the area where the cyclone first made landfall.

She had run from her house and taken refuge in her husband's office with her parents and three kids.

At least five houses nearby have lost their roofs, according to Tahina, who spoke to the AFP news agency.

Pascal Salle sobbed as he surveyed the Freddy-related damage, which included a window that had been torn out of his house and a "sandy field" in his garden.

It is a repeat performance. It's not feasible for me to take this every year. In 2022, Batsirai and Emnati, and in 2023, Freddy. Who's to say another one won't fall on us in 15 days? ", he questioned.

At least 33 people were killed and tens of thousands of people were ejected from their homes last month when the strong storm Cheneso slammed into north-eastern Madagascar. It brought in strong winds and precipitation that led to extensive flooding.

After being devastated by Cyclone Batsirai last year, which left more than 130 people dead throughout Madagascar, Mananjary is still recovering.

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