Southern Africa - Cyclone Hudah Fact Sheet #4, Fiscal Year (FY) 2000

from US Agency for International Development
Published on 10 Apr 2000
New information is underlined.


On April 2, Cyclone Hudah made landfall along the East Coast of Madagascar between Mahanoro and Mananjary. The northernmost area of Madagascar is the most affected region. Agence France-Presse reports 20 deaths and 300,000 people affected in Madagascar. By April 3, Cyclone Hudah exited the West Coast of Madagascar and continued in a westerly direction across the Mozambique Channel. On April 8, Cyclone Hudah made landfall at 0800 local time approximately 20 km north of Pebane in Zambezia Province, Mozambique. The cyclone's wind speed was 92-104 mph with gusts up to 115 mph when it made landfall. As of April 9, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration (NOAA) reported that there are no significant weather systems in the southern Africa region. The remnant of Cyclone Hudah has become disorganized and is travelling northward, but there is no severe or intense rainfall.


On April 9, the USAID/DART reported that approximately 10-30% of the traditional roofs in Pebane are damaged, and four schools have sustained minor roof damage; however, the local population does not seem to consider the cyclone to be an unusual event for the season. Downed trees have blocked access to the main road into Pebane, but the local population is in the process of clearing the trees. In addition, no standing water was noted in Pebane.

Also on April 9, USAID/Maputo reported that the manioc crop, a secondary food crop, sustained some damage, but it is not considered a cause for concern at this time. USAID/Maputo also reported that the main rivers and tributaries in the affected area are not at flood alert levels. The water level in the Licungo River is high; however, there are no population settlements at risk if the river floods.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Response

On April 5, USAID/OFDA deployed to Maputo a 12-person team from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and four boats from the USAID/OFDA stockpile in New Windsor, Maryland. The Miami-Dade Search and Rescue will conduct advance search and rescue training for local authorities and NGO staff.

In addition, a USAID/OFDA-deployed communications officer, field officer, press officer, and cartographic information specialist arrived in Maputo on April 6.

The USAID/DART has pre-positioned a coordinator in Beira who will oversee search and rescue and relief activities.

On April 6, USAID/OFDA sent four 15-foot, eight-person capacity Zodiac boats with motors to Maputo. The boats will be consigned to NGOs, and the NGOs will receive training from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to use in search and rescue activities.

Local Response

During the April 6 coordination meeting, the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC), USAID, several NGOs, and U.N. agencies formed the Hudah Action Committee (HAC). HAC will coordinate information and resources to respond to emergency needs arising from Cyclone Hudah.

According to USAID/DART, the GOM has 60 boats on standby in Beira.

International Response

Information on donor activities and international response to date is available at

On April 9, the U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique, USAID/DART, USAID/Maputo, INGC, the Provincial Governor of Zambezia, U.N. World Food Program, U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, U.K. Department for International Development, and World Vision conducted a joint assessment of the affected area. The overall conclusion from the assessment is that there was much less damage than anticipated and the majority of the problems consisted of downed trees and roof damage in the area between 10 km north and 10 km south of Pebane.


Effects of Cyclone Hudah: USAID/Antananarivo reported on April 5 that Antalaha district, with an estimated population of 60,000, was most affected by Cyclone Hudah. The city of Maroantsetra and surrounding rice fields are completely flooded. In the Andapa Valley, which is the largest rice producing area in the northeast, most of the rice fields and homes in the low-lying areas are flooded.

USAID/Antananarivo reports that virtually all of the 60,000 inhabitants of the Antalaha area appear to need immediate assistance, as do those of Maroantsetra and its surrounding communities.

On April 7, two teams comprised of USAID/OFDA, USAID/Antananarivo, Peace Corps, and French Red Cross members conducted assessments of the towns of Antalaha and Sambava. The teams reported that the path of the cyclone was clearly visible and many trees and vegetation had been destroyed. Inland villages suffered more from flooding than from wind damage.

The USAID/OFDA Regional Advisor reports that Antalaha has severe damage and 80-90% of houses built with local materials sustained damage. In addition, many of the cash crops, primarily vanilla and cloves, suffered significant damage. Rice harvests in some areas were completely destroyed.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Response

On April 9, USAID/OFDA sent 500 rolls of plastic sheeting and 10,000 five-gallon water jugs to Antananarivo for forward movement to the Northeast. The relief items will provide assistance for 10,000 families and are expected to arrive in Madagascar on April 11.

Local Response

The GOM has dispatched 25 tons of rice to the northeast for immediate distribution.

International Response:

On April 5, the UNDP organized an overflight and rapid assessment of the areas of the West Coast within the trajectory of Hudah. The team found no significant impact of the cyclone in the northwest.

In addition to the existing WFP office in Sambava, WFP and UNICEF have established joint offices in Antalaha and Maroantsetra to provide direct coordination and support to relief efforts.

The World Bank's water and urban sector manager for eastern and southern Africa arrived in Madagascar on April 6 for a weeklong assessment. The specialist will assess ways in which the World Bank might be most helpful in medium- to long-term response and recovery efforts, particularly infrastructure projects.

USG Assistance for Cyclone Hudah (to date)

USG Agency
Activities Funded
Mozambique USAID/OFDA Four Zodiac boats and motors and their transport from USAID/OFDA stockpile to Maputo
Apr 5
Mozambique USAID/OFDA Mobilization of Miami-Dade Search and Rescue team
Apr 5
Madagascar USAID/OFDA Purchase and transport of plastic sheeting and water jugs
Apr 9
Apr 10

Public Donation Information

In the interest of effective coordination of public response, we encourage concerned citizens to provide monetary donations to appropriate organizations. To find out about contributions, USAID encourages the public to access its web site at or to contact its Humanitarian Hotline at 1-800-USAID-Relief between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The public can also directly contact those private voluntary organizations (PVOs) currently working in the region to provide monetary donations. Additionally, the public can contact InterAction, a coalition of voluntary humanitarian and development organizations that work overseas, via their web site ( Those interested in providing specific technical services or commodities should contact Volunteers in Technical Assistance's (VITA) Disaster Information Center for information and guidelines at (703) 276-1914.