Madagascar – Several Dead After Floods and Landslides Cause Buildings to Collapse in Antananarivo

Update, 23 January 2019  – Tropical Cyclone Desmond, Mozambique

Tropical Cyclone Desmond made landfall in the province of Zambézia (Mozambique), near the border with the Sofala province, as a Tropical Storm with maximum sustained winds up to 65 Km/h.

Heavy rain and flooding was reported in the city of Beira, Sofala Province, which recorded 277 mm of rain in 24 hours to 22 January. Local media said that the storm also affected the provinces of Manica, Tete and Zambézia.

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Original Report, 22 January 2019 – Flooding and Landslides in Madagascar

Heavy rainfall that began late on 19 January, 2019, has caused landslides and flooding in Antananarivo, capital city of Madagascar.

Local media, quoting fire service and civil protection sources, say that at least several people have died, some are still missing and several were injured after buildings collapsed due to heavy rain, landslides and flooding. AFP news agency reports suggest the death toll is 9.

Heavy rainfall frequently makes many of the slopes and hillsides around the city dangerously unstable. The city saw several landslides in March 2015 (see photo) and at least 7 people were killed in a landslide in the city in February last year.

Landslide locations in Antananarivo, March 2015. Photo: BNGRC

Tropical Cyclone Desmond

Unstable weather is affecting wider areas of the region, in particular the formation of Tropical Cyclone Desmond over the southern Mozambique Channel on 20 January, 2019.

Heavy rain has been reported in other parts of Madagascar, in particular in northern areas, where Sambava recorded 143 mm of rain in 24 hours to 21 January, 2019. Seychelles International Airport recorded 91.1mm of rain and Agalega in Mauritius 87mm of rain during the same period.

Meanwhile Tropical Cyclone Desmond has moved north and as of 21 January its centre was approximately 375 km south-east of Quelimane City, Zambezia Province, Mozambique, with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h.

According to the EU’s DG-ECHO (Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations) over the next 24 hours Desmond is forecast to continue north-north-west towards Zambezia Province and could approach the coast on the morning of 22 January (UTC) as a tropical storm.

Heavy rainfall, strong winds and thunderstorms could affect Zambezia and Sofala provinces.

Map of Tropical Cyclone Desmond as it approaches Mozambique, January 2019. Image: European Union 2019. Map produced by JRC. Click image to see full map (pdf) or see all European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Daily Maps here.

Featured image: File photo for illustration purposes only. Landslide locations in Antananarivo, March 2015. Photo: BNGRC