Madagascar – 700 Homes Flooded as Tropical Storm Cheneso Makes Landfall

Tropical Storm Cheneso made landfall in northern Madagascar on 19 January 2023. Disaster authorities report over 700 homes were damaged after heavy rain triggered flooding. One person was reported missing at sea.

Floods in Madagascar after Tropical Storm Cheneso,, 19 January 2023. Photo: BNGRC

Tropical Storm Cheneso made landfall in the north of Antalaha Town in Sava Region, on the north-eastern coast of the island, at 10.45am (local time) on 19 January, according to Meteo Madagascar. After landfall, the storm headed south-west, with average winds of 90 km/h and wind gusts up to 120 km/h.

Heavy rainfall was also reported, in particular in northern areas. According to WMO figures, the city of Sambava recorded 100 mm in 24 hours to 20 January. During the same period, Nosy Boraha (Sainte-Marie Island) recorded 75 mm, the city of Antsohihy 104 mm and the island of Nosy Be 64 mm.

Rainfall over Madagascar during Tropical Storm Cheneso, 20 January 2023. Image contains blended SEVIRI / LEO MW precipitation and morphologic information via EUMETSAT

Madagascar’s National Office for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC) reported 730 homes were flooded in the Maroantsetra District of the Ananjirofo Region, affecting a total of 2,192 residents. At least 214 people have been displaced from their homes.

One person was reported missing at sea in the storm, off the coast of Antsiranana II district in the Diana Region.

BNGRC pointed out that many districts affected by the storm have been unable to send damage assessments, and therefore the numbers affected are likely to rise.

The UN said that Diana, Sava and Analanjirofo regions along the north-eastern coast have been put under red alert (imminent danger), while Alaotra-Mangoro, Atsinana and Sofia (located in eastern Madagascar) are on yellow alert (threat warning). Nearly 540,000 people are estimated to be living in areas at risk of 90 km/h winds, while nearly 3 million people reside in areas that may be affected by winds of up to 60 km/h, according to the Automated Disaster Analysis and Mapping (ADAM) by the World Food Programme (WFP).

Tropical Storm Cheneso, Madagascar, January 2023. Image: World Food Programme (WFP)