Enawo is the strongest cyclone in 13 years to impact the country and landed as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane.

Winds were between 230-270 kilometres per hour and the resulting rains are expected to cause flash flooding and mudslides throughout the rest of the week. 38 people have died and over 50,000 people have been left homeless thus far. This number is expected to climb.

According to the Malagasy Red Cross, approximately 720,000 people will be affected directly and indirectly by this intense tropical cyclone. Meteo Madagascar has issued a red alert for the northeast coastal areas of Madagascar, advising residents to abandon houses on water edges, store drinking water and seek shelter in a safe building.

Footage has started to emerge following Cyclone Enawo’s landfall in Madagascar, however, communications are likely severed as a result of the storm so the full extent of damage is not yet known. ShelterBox Operations will continue to monitor Cyclone Enawo as it moves south and tracks back to the Indian Ocean.

ShelterBox has provided aid to families in Madagascar previously, most recently after Tropical Storm Chedza caused intense flooding in the central and southern regions of the country in January 2015.

ShelterBox provided tents to families in the western region of Menabe and in the Madagascan capital of Antananarivo.

One of those recipients was Ernestine Lravaomalala, who lived with her family in Antananarivo. She said: ‘The rains started at the end of December and because of the heavy rainfall, the flooding was intensified by the Tropical Storm Chedza. The water came into the house and soon we were up to our knees.

Even though the water was getting dangerously higher, we stayed in our home until a ShelterBox tent arrived. At the time, the children were very sick; they all had headaches, sore throats and coughs. The tent has enabled us to keep dry and warm.

Notes to Editors

  • Header image shows strong winds in Sambava, Madagascar on March 7, 2017. Image courtesy of Manny Horsford/AP.