Madagascar - Tropical Cyclone Kesiny OCHA Situation Report No. 2

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 21 May 2002
Ref: OCHA/GVA/2002/
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Madagascar - Tropical Cyclone Kesiny
21 May 2002

This report is based on information provided by the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Madagascar on 17 May 2002.


1. On 9 May 2002 at 6:00 pm (local time), tropical cyclone Kesiny landed 80km north of Vohemar, in the northern tip of Madagascar, affecting the areas situated between Diego Suarez, Vohemar and Ambilobe in the province of Antsiranana. Heavy rains with average winds of 120km/h and gusts up to 180km/h were recorded. The cyclone tracked southwestward, along the north-west coast of Madagascar and then moved towards south when dissipated.

2. Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains were reported in Ambilobe, Diego Suarez, and Vohemar in Antsiranana province.

3. On 13 May 2002, based on information received from the provinces of Antsiranana and Toamasina, it was agreed that the inter-agency mission should be fielded to the affected areas. Subsequently on 15 May, a locally-organised inter-agency mission was dispatched to the north, to evaluate the damages in the areas of Ambilobe, Analalava, Nosy Be, Sambava and Vohemar, and on 16 May, to the East Coast, in the areas of Fenerive Est, Maroantsetra and Toamasina. Representatives from the National Relief Council (CNS), UNDP, WHO, WFP, CARE, MSF, the World Bank, the European Union and USAID participated in the mission.

4. The following information was provided by the Government, United Nations Volunteers placed in the affected areas, CARE International, Catholic Relief Services and participants of the above-mentioned inter-agency mission:

Antsiranana province

Antsiranana II and Ambilobe districts: The communes of Anivorano, Antsalaka and Bobasakoa located at the exit point of the cyclone path, are the most affected areas. While damages on infrastructure are limited, the impact on the agriculture sector appears to be high, with harvesting of the fields was expected in the coming weeks.

Nosy Be district: Two deaths caused by the collapse of a house were recorded. No substantive damage has been observed.

Vohemar district: No damages have been reported. The aerial assessment indicated no destruction.

Province of Toamasina

Fenerive Est district: Seven deaths have been reported. Twelve bridges on the road to Toamasina have been damaged. Five main bridges have been totally destroyed. Communication problems have been contributing to lack of information.

Maroantsetra district: As the risk of flooding has decreased, people evacuated from the low lying areas are returning to their homes. Crop production for the new planting season will definitely be affected, while the harvest has been completed.

Toamasina district: The city of Toamasina has suffered from heavy flooding. Electricity was cut for five days. A lot of areas inside the city remain flooded. All the wells in the city have been polluted, posing a health risk. At least 20,000 persons have been affected. Some deaths have been reported, while the number needs to be confirmed. Roads to Brickaville (on the South) have been cut due to several landslides (63 landslides reported) destroying 16 bridges. The city is only accessible by air or sea.

National and international Response

5. No state of emergency has been declared for this disaster and the Government of Madagascar has not made any request for international assistance.

6. Medical assistance was provided by WHO and MSF during the inter-agency mission in Toamasina.

7. The findings of the assessment on the East Coast, especially in Toamasina, indicated an urgent need for a complementary evaluation and immediate interventions in the health and water/sanitation sectors. Arrangements are being done for this purpose, by the French Cooperation, through a Technical Assistant, based in Toamasina. An evaluation mission for the agricultural sector will also be organized in the coming weeks.

8. OCHA remains in contact with the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Madagascar, and will revert with further information when available.

9. This situation report, together with information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. J. McGoldrick/Ms. Y. Sawada/Ms. H. Kuttab
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 17 12/1768/3194

Press contact:
(in GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in N.Y.) - Ms. Phyllis Lee, direct Tel. +1-212-963 48 32

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