Madagascar: Tropical Cyclone ENAWO - Information Bulletin n° 1

This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation. The Malagasy Red Cross Society (MRCS) will, however, accept direct assistance to provide support to the affected population.

The situation

Tropical storm ENAWO formed in the southern Indian Ocean on March 3, 2017. With a wind surge of up to 105MPH, Enawo has been upgraded to a Category 2 tropical cyclone. The current location of Enawo is around 400 miles east of the northeast coast of Madagascar.

The cyclone is forecasted to strengthen in the southern Indian Ocean before threatening Madagascar with its strongest tropical cyclone landfall in three years. The cyclone is predicted to strengthen towards the north-east coast of Madagascar and make landfall by Tuesday.

The cyclone is being compared to the last hurricane-strength tropical cyclone Giovanna that made landfall on Madagascar's east coast on 13 February 2012. ENAWO is predicted to affect approximately 1.4 million people.

The cyclone will also trigger life threatening storm-surge flooding, damaging winds, dangerous surf and mud/rockslides near and along the northeast coast of Madagascar starting Tuesday. Downed trees, structural damage to homes and power outages may be widespread in these areas. ENAWO will also bring heavy rainfall to this mountainous island. The damage caused by floods could potentially affect 8 regions (Analanjirofo, Atsinanana, Sofia, Alaotra Mangoro, Analamanga, Menabe, Vatovavy fitovinany, Atsimo Andrefana)

So far, the south western Indian Ocean has seen six cyclones that reached tropical depression organization and two hurricane-strength systems. The last tropical cyclone of at least hurricane strength to landfall in Madagascar was Hellen on Mar. 31, 2014.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

Malagasy Red Cross Society

  • NS has activated its National Disaster Response Team (NDRT) and volunteers on the ground.

  • Cyclone preparedness coordination meetings were convened by MRCS with the National Disaster Response Agency on 4 & 5 March.

  • MRCS have indicated prepositioned stocks in North East Madagascar, mainly kitchen sets and WASH kits for 500HH. Also in stock in the PIROI warehouse in Antananarivo are shelter kits and WASH kits for 1,600HH.

  • The RCRC Indian Ocean Regional Intervention Platform (PIROI – French Red Cross) will be able to send assistance to MRCS in case the cyclone makes landfall. Currently, PIROI have 3,000 shelter kits to reach 3,000HH in La Reunion, 3 WatSan Kits IFRC and Movement Coordination

  • Resources and funding opportunities are being coordinated by IFRC EAIOI cluster office with in-country partners such as German, Danish and Norwegian RC. They are dedicated to supporting the NS response, including likely support with initial funding.

  • PNS’s in-country (German, Danish and Norwegian RC) initiated discussions with MRCS and ECHO on fund reallocation for cyclone response from the ongoing ECHO program in Northern Madagascar as part of the Crisis modification mechanism.

  • PIROI is very engaged with the NS, and they are also working closely with the PNSs. PIROI is willing to deploy staff in case technical support capacity is needed for cyclone assessments under the umbrella of IFRC. However, no funds have been secured yet to support possible PIROI deployment. Further discussions are taking place to see if there could be a joint assessment with the NS, PNSs and PIROI, which is a welcomed approach by the National Society and PIROI. PIROI indicated they have approached partners in the region for possible support.

  • IFRC EAIOI cluster office will continue coordinating cyclone preparedness and response strategy calls with partners and the National Society. The cluster is closely monitoring the situation related to the actual needs in responding to the situation. Surge capacity deployment from IFRC is being discussed and possible scenarios are being envisaged, to support the Ns in the response.

  • The cluster and PIROI (as stated in MoU), have initiated discussions on initial cyclone response and the need for a potential DREF.

  • The IFRC have sent out preliminary FACT alert for urgently deployment to support assessment

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

  • Malagasy Red Cross: Fanja Nantenaina Ratsimbazafy, Secretary General of Malagasy Red Cross; phone: +261 34 14 221 03; email:

  • IFRC Regional Representation: Getachew Taa; Head of the Eastern Africa and Indian Ocean Island Cluster Office; Nairobi; Phone: +254 20 28 35 000; Email:

  • IFRC Africa Region: Farid Aiywar, Head of Disaster Crisis Prevention, Response and Recovery Department, Nairobi, Kenya; phone +254 731 067 489; email:

  • In Geneva: Cristina Estrada, Lead, Response and Recovery Unit, email:

  • Regional Logistics Unit (RLU): Rishi Ramrakha, Head of Africa Region logistics unit; Telephone: +254 733 888 022/ Fax +254 20 271 2777; email: For Resource Mobilization and Pledges:

In IFRC Africa Region:

  • Fidelis Kangethe, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Coordinator; Addis Ababa; telephone: +254 731 984117; email:

  • Please send all pledges for funding to For Performance and Accountability (planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting enquiries)
    In IFRC Africa Region:

  • Beatrice Okeyo, Acting PMER Coordinator, Tel: +254 732 412 200; Email:

How we work
All IFRC assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief and the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

The IFRC’s vision is to inspire, encourage, facilitate and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies, with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering, and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.

The IFRC’s work is guided by Strategy 2020 which puts forward three strategic aims:
1. Save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disaster and crises.
2. Enable healthy and safe living.
3. Promote social inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace.