Tropical Cyclone Bingiza

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  • Tropical Cyclone Bingiza
    14.02.2011 15:31

     

    The island of Madagascar usually finds itself struck by or closely bypassed by two or three tropical cyclones during a typical southern hemisphere summer.

    Few, however, are as strong as Tropical Cyclone Bingiza, which crossed the northeast coastline near the town of Antahala on Monday.

    Bingiza developed in the south Indian Ocean last week and strengthened northeast of Madagascar, then barely moved for several days. It did, however, send arms of very heavy rain towards northern Madagascar before finally drifting westwards, hitting the coastline with steady winds of nearly 100 mph and gusts as high as 135mph. 

    It is not just the wind that will be a problem. Torrential rain will bring flooding and landslides, with a storm surge at the northeast coast, and Madagascar’s infrastructure is such that, if past events are a guide, it will be a slow process to clear up in the aftermath.

    The aid agency Care International estimates that 100,000 people will be affected the storm’s winds, rains and floods, and 30,000 severely affected.

    The figure could rise because Bingiza is expected to cross the island in a south-westerly direction then possibly regenerate over the Mozambique Channel before turning southwards and running parallel with and close to the west coast.

    By: Stephen Davenport