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Cyclone Freddy weakened hits the Malagasy coast, first death


Tropical cyclone Freddy, carried on Tuesday February 21 by extreme winds before weakening, hit the east coast of Madagascar in the evening,...

Tropical cyclone Freddy, carried on Tuesday February 21 by extreme winds before weakening, hit the east coast of Madagascar in the evening, killing its first person and raising fears of major damage during the night.


All the doors and windows started to shake,

" says Tahina, who lives in Mananjary near the seaside. With her parents and three children, she preferred to leave her house to take shelter in the permanent office of her husband.

“At least five houses have lost their roofs”

Next to us, at least five houses have lost their roofs.

Some are in foliage, there, it's not only the roofs that are gone but their walls!

“, she adds.

The meteorological phenomenon had previously passed off Reunion and Mauritius but it was less devastating than feared, the eye of the cyclone having passed off these islands in the Indian Ocean.

In Madagascar, it made landfall around 7:20 p.m. local time (4:20 p.m. GMT) some 500 km from the capital.


Freddy landed about 30 km north

" of the town of Mananjary.

He got even weaker.

The average wind is estimated at 130 km/h with gusts of 180 km/h

,” the government statement said.

Read alsoCyclone Freddy: airports reopened in Mauritius and Reunion, threat to Madagascar

A 27-year-old man drowned near the port of Mahanoro, 200 km north of Manajary, according to this source.

Torrential rains

” and rough seas with waves of more than eight meters are expected, thus “

a significant risk of coastal flooding

” during the night.

More than 2.3 million of the 28 million inhabitants of this country among the poorest in the world risk being affected, according to the World Food Program (WFP).

In Mananjary, streets and beaches were deserted during the day, only a few zebus were still wandering, according to residents reached by telephone by AFP.

The city of 25,000 people was already largely destroyed last year by Cyclone Batsirai, which killed more than 135 people.

Schools closed

All morning, aid workers made rounds: “

Above all, do not go out at the first lull.

Wait for the announcements and sirens (...) which will give the authorization to leave the shelters


In the rain, mothers pulling their little ones, pots and mats under their arms, joined the requisitioned schools and churches.

Some 35 sites have been opened and "

people who have big,

solid houses" are welcoming their neighbours, according to the Red Cross.

Men have torn down their house piece by piece: "

We are putting the equipment in a safe place and will rebuild after the cyclone

", says one of them.

Elsewhere, sandbags have been placed on homes to weight the roofs.

Night falls, the gusts are getting stronger and stronger but we see people still coming and going

,” says Jeanne Simonnin, deployed by Doctors of the World with a team of emergency doctors.

A lady has just run past to get a saucepan from the neighbor.

However, the wind is enormous.

There are sheets flying, it's starting to become dangerous


Schools have been closed, as a precaution, in four out of six provinces.

Many storms or cyclones cross the southwest Indian Ocean each year between November and April.

Freddy passed in the night from Monday to Tuesday off Reunion, which "

escaped the most degraded conditions

", according to meteorologists.


No death or injury is to be deplored

", according to the prefecture.

The bad weather deprived 9,000 homes of electricity, also causing water cuts.

The cyclone had previously swept through Mauritius on Monday, remaining there as far from the coast.

Madagascar has already been hit by a powerful tropical storm in January.

Heavy rains caused flooding and killed at least 33 people.

After passing through Madagascar, Freddy is expected to hit Mozambique on Friday at the tropical storm stage, with heavy rains, according to forecasts.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-21

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