Cyclone Enawo, ranked at Category 4 of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of cyclone intensity, made landfall on the north-eastern coast of Madagascar on Tuesday 7th March, bringing 300 km/h winds.
Four hundred millimetres of rainfall in 24 hours could cause floods in eight regions: Analanjirofo, Atsinanana, Sofia, Alaotra Mangoro, Analamanga, Menabe, Vatovavy Fitovinany and Atsimo Andrefana. The cyclone hit the capital Antananarivo on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Around 900,000 people live in four districts in the direct path of the cyclone (Sambava, Antalaha, Vohemar and Andapa). They are likely to be particularly badly affected. More than 80,000 of them may need immediate assistance, according to OCHA. The cyclone may displace more than 140,000 people and some 10,000 could find themselves without shelter.
“Cyclones cause casualties and damage homes, crops and roads, and seriously affect the most vulnerable people, particularly those living in makeshift housing and in isolated regions.” explains Xavier Duvauchelle, Desk Officer for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“We are on alert. We have stocks of non-food items on site ready to distribute if necessary, along with technical aids, such as crutches and wheelchairs, for people with disabilities and injuries. During the first post-cyclone assessments, we will make sure the needs of people with disabilities are included in the emergency response provided by other humanitarian organisations.”
Handicap International in Madagascar
Handicap International has been present in Madagascar since 1986. Its team of nearly 100 staff members works to eliminate disabling diseases such as lymphatic filariasis. It helps to improve the living conditions of detainees in prisons. Handicap International runs a mother and child health programme to reduce mortality rates among mothers and infants. The organisation also advances the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities by providing support to the organisations that represent them. Handicap International is working to improve access to education for children excluded from the school system.