Goto main content

Cyclone BATSIRAI puts over 500,000 people at risk

Emergency
Madagascar

A dangerous tropical cyclone is quickly approaching Madagascar, threatening hundreds of thousands. Humanity & Inclusion teams in the country prepare for disaster.

Flooding following tropical storm Ana

Flooding following tropical storm Ana | © R.RAZAFIMAHATRATRA/ HI

Potentially devastating

As cyclone season begins in the Indian ocean, a dangerous tropical cyclone called BATSIRAI-22 is quickly approaching the coast of Madagascar after passing near to Reunion Island and Mauritius. Threatening winds around 200 km/h, the storm is expected to develop into a powerful category 4 cyclone by Friday, February 4th and to make landfall on the Madagascan coast Saturday, crossing the island from west to southwest.

Though its potential impact is still uncertain, the situation is all the more worrying as the targeted areas are still recovering from significant flooding that occurred only a week ago during tropical storm Ana. The storm affected over 130,000 people and killed approximately 50. The water from the storm has yet to be evacuated, which could lead to more severe consequences, particularly for the 27,000 internally displaced people who now find themselves once again at-risk. In the southwestern regions, persistent drought and watersheds increase the probability of rapid flooding, which could quickly create very high intensity “rivers” of powerful currents.

State of emergency in Madagascar

The government has declared a state of emergency and activated a high-level national contingency plan. Authorities are predicting heavy rainfall, flooding, strong gusts of wind, landslides and power outages, affecting an estimated 595,000 people. Such an impact could leave hundreds of thousands without shelter, at risk of injury, and without access to clean water, food or important medical services.

With needs from the previous floods still not fully covered, communities risk a compounding crisis. People living with disabilities and elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable as they are often left behind in situations of disaster.

The Betsioboka river overflows after heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Ana. January, 2022, Madagascar..©R.RAZAFIMAHATRATRA/ HI

 

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is present and preparing for the worst

In preparation for the cyclone, HI has already begun mobilising its teams and resources to contribute to the rapid assessment led by the National Bureau of Disaster Risk Reduction Management (BNGRC). To promote safe practices within the community, HI teams are distributing emergency preparation plans to partners and families, and are planning to distribute pre-positioned emergency items including assistive mobility devices, hygiene kits, and blankets. Precautions are also being taken to measure and support account the needs of persons with disabilities leading up to and following the disaster.

“At this time, we’re preparing for significant damages" says HI country director for Madagascar, Vincent Dalonneau. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

HI is also preparing for a potential response focusing on rehabilitation, mental health and psychosocial support, and multi-purpose cash assistance for the most vulnerable populations including persons living with disabilities, which will be confirmed following rapid needs assessment.

HI present in Madagascar since 1986

Present in Madagascar since 1986, HI has activities and offices located throughout the country, including several regions in BATSIRAI’s predicted path. For years, the organization has implemented disaster risk reduction initiatives, designed to limit the immediate and long-term consequences of such natural hazards on vulnerable communities. The program hopes its emergency plans and community preparations will prove successful in limiting some of the risks associated with the impending cyclone

HI is coordinating closely with local actors to evaluate the situation, and plans to determine further action in the coming days.

Date published: 03/02/22

COUNTRIES

Where we work

Read more

HI is supporting a mental health hotline in Ukraine
© HI
Emergency Health

HI is supporting a mental health hotline in Ukraine

With rising mental health and psychosocial support needs, the volunteer hotline allows affected populations in Ukraine to access services any time, from anywhere.

Vladimir survived an explosion
© HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Vladimir survived an explosion

Vladimir survived an explosion in Ukraine, but suffered severe burns. HI is supporting his recovery with rehabilitation exercises and care to facilitate proper healing.

Ukraine: HI cares for patients wounded by war
© HI
Emergency Health Rehabilitation

Ukraine: HI cares for patients wounded by war

Humanity & Inclusion rehabilitation specialists are working in Ukrainian hospitals to support burn and amputation patients in the ongoing conflict.

FOLLOW US