Flash Update #4: Tropical Cyclone AVA Hits Madagascar | 8 January 2018
• Tropical Cyclone AVA left Madagascar on 6 January.
• The cyclone caused heavy rainfall and strong winds along the coast and the highland.
• Thousands of people have been affected and displaced.
• Six deaths and two missing people have been reported.
Tropical Cyclone AVA reached the Atsinanana region of Madagascar on 5 January 2018 causing heavy rains and strong wings. After hitting Toamasina I and II districts, AVA weakened and became a tropical storm when passing through Brickaville and Vatomandry. It left the island on 6 January from Mananjary district.
According to the Malagasy authorities, as of 7 January, around 63,190 people have been directly affected by the cyclone, of which 14,500 are displaced. Many people in Brickaville district who were evacuated preventively have returned to their home as water started receding on 6 January. It is common that the number of IDPs reduces in the days following a cyclone, as people return home if there is no floods or landslide threat. Preventive evacuation of people in Antananarivo is ongoing as the level of Sisaony river has been increasing. Following the cyclone, six people died and two are missing in the country.
The tropical cyclone has caused numerous damages in infrastructure, including houses, roads, schools and Government buildings. In Toamasina, the main hospital is damaged but remains functional, water and electricity were cut off and the airport was closed for safety reasons, but has not been physically affected. As of 7 January, a total of 92 schools have been totally or partially damaged in the affected areas. Six districts remain at high risk of severe flooding: in the capital city of Antananarivo and its surrounding (Atsimondrano and Avaradrano), Mananjary (in Vatovavy-Fitovinany Region), Miandrivazo (in the Menabe Region) and Mampikony (south-west in the Sofia Region).
The Malagasy Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC)/ National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is coordinating the response with partners. It has deployed teams to the Atsinanana Region (Toamasina, Brickaville), central Antananarivo and south-east Mananjary to support the local Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) committees in data collection and response. Local emergency operation centres were activated in Toamasina, Brickaville and Antananarivo.
Humanitarian supplies were pre-positioned in 29 districts across the country—including those affected by Tropical Cyclone AVA—ahead of the cyclone season to support any required response. According to humanitarian partners, the main challenge for the response is accessibility to affected areas during the coming days as some roads are partially flooded or totally cut-off, mainly those in the south-eastern coast. Modular bridges are set up to give access to various regions in the eastern and southern parts of the country.
The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, four Ministers and the Head of BNGRC visited the affected people in Toamasina on 6 January, and provided rice, six family tents and some humanitarian items. The Minister of Health announced that all basic health services in the affected districts are free and health emergency stocks are made available. The President announced that the main priorities were provision of water, sanitation and electricity to Toamasina city, restoration of access, provision of safe temporary sites and basic health care to the evacuated people, and the continuation of schools.
Another Flash Update will be issued if more relevant information becomes available.