Madagascar

Madagascar: Tropical storm draws near Malagasy coast

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Saint-Denis, Reunion (PANA) - A growing tropical storm near the east side of Madagascar intensified Tuesday morning, though it was still 350 km away from the island, a source at the weather department here said Tuesday.
The head of the Specialised Regional Weather Centre (CMRS), Philippe Caroff, assessed the evolution of the storm that started last week from the northern part of the south-western Indian Ocean.

"It's a tropical disturbance but we are on the verge of a witnessing a tropical storm that will be given a name in the next few hours," Caroff said.

"It is clear the tropical disturbance is heading towards the Malagasy east coast. It will hit the island late Tuesday night south of Tamatave, the main port town of the Grand Island," the meteorologist added.

Even if the system was currently considered "moderate," Caroff did not rule out its becoming more serious.

"For now, winds are gusting up to 90 km/hour," he said, adding that the current conditions were conducive for their intensification.

However, the major fear concerned the prospects of a downpour because, according to Caroff, some heavy rains were expected.

"From this afternoon (Tuesday) the Malagasy coasts will be hit by heavy rains. This will certainly not help matters in that the creeks are already saturated by recent floods that have claimed several casualties in the capital (Antananarivo)," he said.

Last week over 16 deaths and 30,000 flood-stricken victims were reported following torrential rains in the capital, Antananarivo, in what scientists viewed as a particularly humid austral summer season.

Pan African News Agency
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