Intense rainfall began pouring over Madagascar on January 17th. A week later, Tropical Storm Ana ripped over Madagascar. The storm brought heavy rains causing flooding and mudslides all over Madagascar and leaving many residents homeless overnight.
The rains were triggered by an Intertropical Convergence Zone near the equator, which intensified when a cyclone made landfall on the eastern coast of the country, exiting the island three days later.
51 lives have been claimed by the tropical storm, which formed over the east coast of Africa’s largest island Madagascar and 72,000 people lost their homes.
According to Meteo Madagascar and other weather agencies, heavy rain is likely to persist across Madagascar and might damage numerous regions in the next few days, including Alaotra, Betsiboka, Mangoro, and Sofia.
Several low-lying regions of the capital are still under high alert and emergency evacuations were launched. Emergency workers are still struggling to reach areas where roads and bridges have been swept away by the storm and left many without power. In the capital city of Antananarivo, gyms and schools have been repurposed and converted into emergency shelters.
The torrential rain that came with the storm then engulfed Malawi and Mozambique. In Malawi, 20 lives were lost. President of Malawi Lazarus Chakwera has declared a state of emergency. The floods washed away crops and livestock. Most of Malawi lost power as well as phone service.
18 people have lost their lives in Mozambique and key public infrastructures have been affected, namely schools and hospitals.
Pylons have been toppled over by floodwaters, and hydro turbines have been obstructed by massive mounds of debris brought by the waters, cutting off electricity to wide portions of Mozambique and Malawi.
Despite the fact that Tropical Storm Ana has fallen to a moderate tropical depression, torrential rains continue to fall throughout most of southern Africa.
Maria Luisa Fornara, UNICEF Representative in Mozambique stated, “This latest storm is a blunt reminder that the climate crisis is very much a reality.”
Rescue efforts are underway in the countries that were wrecked by Tropical Storm Ana.
The worst is not over for Madagascar as another tropical cyclone is anticipated to hit the island. Tropical Cyclone Batsirai is expected to make a direct strike to Africa’s largest island of Madagascar on February 5th, according to current forecast models. Batsirai has already formed in the Indian Ocean near Mauritius.
Malawi’s Department of Meteorological Services spokesperson Yobu Kachiwanda declared that “At this stage, the track is not very certain. So, more of its possible track will be observed in the next three days but otherwise, for now, there is no threat to Malawi. But if there [will] be any cause of threat to Malawi weather, Malawians will be informed accordingly.”