Cyclone Giovanni brings devastation to Madagascar

  • Tropical Cyclone Giovanna on February 14th. Photo: NASA

    Map showing precipitation path of Tropical Cyclone Giovanna. Photo: NASA

    Map showing path of Tropical Cyclone Giovanna from 9th February until 14th February. Photo: Unisys Weather.

  • Cyclone Giovanni brings devastation to Madagascar
    18.02.2012 14:59


    The island of Madagascar was hit by Cyclone Giovanna in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The fourth cyclone of the season and the second Category 4 storm with maximum sustained  gusts of up to 143mph, Giovanna left a path of destruction in its wake. 17 people are believed to be dead, with 77 injured, 4 reported missing and 11,000 left homeless.

    Giovanna developed as a tropical depression over the southern Indian Ocean on Thursday last week and progressed to a Category 1 cyclone the following afternoon. The cyclone gained strength as it continued its path across the Ocean feeding on the moist, warm air just above the surface. By midnight Friday, with maximum sustained winds reaching 138mph Giovanna became a Category 4 cyclone. During Saturday and Sunday intensity of the cyclone lessened a little to a Category 3 before strengthening to a Category 4 once again on Monday with maximum sustained winds reaching 143mph this time. Overnight Tuesday Giovanna began to lose its strength and dropped from a Category 4 to a Category 2.

    At approximately 1am on Tuesday, Cyclone Giovanna hit the east coast as a powerful storm bringing heavy rainfall and high winds causing flooding and landslides, bringing down power lines and trees and destroying thousands of buildings. By the afternoon the worst was over as the storm weakened very quickly to a tropical storm.

    It is not unusual for Madagascar to experience such powerful storms as this. In 2011 Cyclone Bingiza killed 14 people and destroyed thousands of homes and in 2010 Tropical Storm Hubert left more than 38,000 people homeless and 36 were believed to have died. The country normally sees around three or four major storms per year.

    By: Lindsay Dovey