Antananarivo, Madagascar, 23 Feb (ONA) --- Cyclone Emnati crashed into the southeastern coast of Madagascar in the early hours today, ripping roofs off houses and raising fears of flooding and food shortages in a region still recovering from the destruction inflicted by another tropical storm just weeks ago.
More than 30,000 people were moved to safe accommodation before Emnati arrived. Madagascar’s National Office for Risk and Disaster Management estimates more than 250,000 people could be impacted by the latest cyclone.
There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries from Emnati as local authorities waited for the worst to pass, but officials and witnesses reported extensive damage to houses and other buildings in at least one southeastern city.
Madagascar, an island off the east coast of Africa renowned for its wildlife and unspoiled natural treasures, has now been hit by four major tropical storms in the last month, killing nearly 200 people already and compounding issues of food insecurity. A drought in the south of the country left around 400,000 at risk of starvation last year, according to the U.N. World Food Program.
The cyclones have again underlined how climate change may be affecting weather patterns and putting lives at risk in vulnerable places like Madagascar. The U.N. weather agency previously warned of more “high-impact tropical cyclones” that are linked to climate change hitting the region.