Madagascar: Cheneso, first strong storm of the hurricane period, made landfall

The location of Sambava, in the northeast of Madagascar.


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3 mins

In Madagascar, Cheneso, a strong tropical storm, made landfall on Thursday January 19 in the northeast of the island, in Sava, the vanilla region.

This is the first major weather event of this hurricane period.


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With our correspondent in Antananarivo,

Sarah Tétaud

This Thursday, January 19, Cheneso, a strong tropical storm, hit the northeast coast of Madagascar, in the Sava, the vanilla region.

In the evening, the first provisional assessment reported a death, a child, and another, missing.

2,200 victims have also been identified.

The northeast coast remains on red alert due to the strong winds and swell expected for the next few hours.

Part of the territory – the north-west, the central Highlands as well as the south-east of the country – has been placed on alert due to the expected very heavy rainfall and the risk of flooding.

►Also read: Madagascar: five regions of the island placed in vigilance heavy rains

Yesterday, Cheneso therefore touched down a little before 11 a.m., about twenty kilometers south of Sambava.

Ibrahim Dasy, consultant and head of national programs at the NGO Care, was there.

It was a big big storm

,” he says.

The wind did not do any particular damage.

In Sambava, there were no topped houses, nor electric poles on the ground.

But what I saw today is that there are many, many neighborhoods that are flooded.

There are also paddy fields, where there is rice still maturing, which have been completely flooded.

People are afraid, because the water hasn't finished arriving.

The water will rise again with the discharge of the entire fleet which comes from the Andapa watershed, towards the Locoho river and on the Farahalana side



Winds of 90km/h followed by a storm of 120km/h hit North Antalaha (North of Madagascar) at 10:45am.

The storm could cause damage to residential areas and vulnerable infrastructure in Sava and Analanjirofo within the next 10 hours as it heads to the Southwest.

— Save the Children Kenya & Madagascar (@SaveChildren_KE) January 19, 2023

The intensity of the storm has lessened.

Cheneso is now moving at a rate of 15 km per hour towards the west.

Six of the 23 regions of the island have been placed on blue alert, post-cyclone vigilance.

But blue alert does not mean that all alerts are dismissed: we really insist with the whole population to pay attention to floods

”, underlines Colonel Fabien Faly.

He coordinates emergency activities at the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management.

We have particularly heavy rainfall which is expected this weekend for the regions of Sava, Diana and Sofia

," he adds.

The key behaviors, of course, is to avoid staying in low areas.

And to make sure, if our home is in the major river beds, to go to the safe areas and not hesitate to follow the instructions of the authorities who had already carried out a certain number of preventive evacuations, before the arrival. of the storm.

Then, it is also to avoid for the moment to take the boats.

We also recommend listening to the special bulletins broadcast on the National Radio


Cheneso should not go out to sea, on the west coast, in the Mozambique Channel, until the beginning of next week.


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