Madagascar – Floods and Wind Damage After Tropical Cyclone Belna Makes Landfall

Tropical Cyclone Belna made landfall in Soalala district in the west of Madagascar on the afternoon of 09 December, 2019, bringing strong winds and torrential rain.

Tropical Cyclone Belna over Madagascar, December 2019. Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

At least two fatalities were reported in Soalala, where 3 people are also missing. More than 1,400 people have been displaced in the district.

Houses, public buildings and a hospital in Soalala all suffered damage from the strong winds and flooding. Coastal areas were flooded after waves and storm surge damaged a protective dyke.

The storm also caused damage in parts of Mahajanga district in Boeny Region, where more than 170 people have been evacuated. Many are staying in schools and public facilities.

In Diana region, 55 homes were flooded in Antsiranana district, affecting around 250 people according to Madagascar’s National Office for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC).

BNGRC also reported that 22 homes were destroyed in Besalampy, Melaky region, mostly as a result of wind damage.

As of 10 December, Belna weakened into a tropical storm and is continuing its trajectory southwards. Heavy rains are forecast in the regions of Melaky and Menabe, where there is risk of flooding.

A host of preventive measure were carried out prior to Belna’s landfall. BNGRC pre-deployed teams to key locations to prepare for landfall, and preventive evacuations were undertaken in Boeny region. All schools along the western coast of Madagascar were closed. The Early Warning System for Morondava River in Menabe region was activated and regular bulletins are being published informing of the level of the river.

Tropical Cyclone Belna caused wind damage and flooding in Soalala, Madagascar, December 2019. Photo; Moustapha Diallo IFRC / Twitter

Social Media