Madagascar: Predicted moderate tropical Madagascar Storm Hellen trajectory (as of 31 March 2014)

Tropical Cyclone Hellen has weakened to a tropical storm with its centre is currently located in Soalala District. It continues to move south-south-west causing wind gusts of up to 110 km/h. Rainfall of 75 mm to 125 mm, with up to 175 mm in isolated areas along the coast, is forecasted until 01 April, when the system is expected to exit into the Mozambique Channel. A Red Alert (imminent danger) remains in place for the regions of Boeny and Malaky.

So far no wind damage has been reported but there are concerns over floods as the weather system is moving slowly. An OCHA Humanitarian Affairs Officer has arrived in Mahajanga to support the operational hub that is being established by the National Bureau for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC). Reportedly, infrastructure in Mahajanga is intact (electricity, water) and it stopped raining at 16H00 local time (UTC+3). So far 348 households have been displaced from lower-lying flood-prone areas to schools. Their needs are being addressed by local authorities with the support of partners. Most of those displaced are expected to return home within days if conditions improve. Levels of upstream rivers are reportedly high but currently no floods are being observed. Agencies with a presence in the affected regions have to date not seen urgent needs or serious damage, including in Soalala, for which more information will be available tomorrow, 01 April.

In view of difficult accessibility by road, multi-sector aerial assessments are being planned for tomorrow, weather permitting. As per the national contingency plan, the Logistics Cluster is on standby to send relief supplies by road from Anatananarivo and, if required, small amounts of relief supplies by airplane.

The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is meeting tomorrow 09H00 local time to review the situation.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.