ACAPS Briefing Note: Madagascar - Tropical Cyclone Enawo (13 March 2017)


Key points:

  • At least 883 houses have been damaged by the cyclone and 5,630 have been damaged due to floodwater, particularly in Antalaha district.

  • Food availability is a challenge to affected populations in remote areas cut off by damaged roads. 100% of the crops and rice fields in Antalaha and Sambava have been submerged and destroyed.

  • Access to drinking water in Antahala district is limited. The overflowing of rivers in Antananarivo is likely to contaminate drinking water.

  • Several districts in Sava region and around Antananarivo have been cut off by landslides. Communications lines are down due to power outages.


Tropical Cyclone Enawo, equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, made landfall over Antalaha district, in the northeastern coast of Madagascar, on 7 March at around 10:30am local time. Wind speeds of 220–230 km/h were recorded, along with heavy rains. The storm traversed nearly the length of the island over two days, affecting communities from north to south across Madagascar’s eastern and central regions. On 7 and 8 March, approximately 131mm of rain was recorded in Antananarivo (OCHA 09/03/2017). On 8 March, the cyclone weakened to a ‘moderate’ tropical storm, with an average speed of 80km/h, and the storm exited the country on 10 March.
As of 13 March, at least 100,000 people have been directly affected by the cyclone, approximately half of whom are in Antalaha district. At least 50 people have been killed, and 183 wounded, mainly in Analanjirofo and Sava regions. Over 110,000 people have been displaced by flooding and storm waters, particularly in Antalaha and Maroantsetra districts.