Tropical storm toll reaches 24 deaths in Madagascar

By Laureen Fagan - 27 January 2023 at 8:16 pm
Tropical storm toll reaches 24 deaths in Madagascar

The storm-related death toll has now reached 24 in Madagascar, where forecasters say Tropical Storm Cheneso poses a continued threat with heavy rainfalls, storm-related landslides and high seas as it lingers along an offshore track over the Mozambique Channel.

The National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC) in Madagascar said winds of 50 to 70 kilometers per hour continue along the southwest coast. Rainfall rates of up to 70 millimeters in 24 hours may lead to rising rivers and additional flooding.

Météo Madagascar issued red warnings for high winds and heavy seas along the southern coast through Sunday.

Cheneso previously made landfall on the northeast coast of the Indian Ocean island nation, north of Antalaha, with winds of 106 km/h before it crossed the country and emerged in the channel. In addition to the fatalities, another 21 people are missing, with more than 35,000 people displaced across 17 regions affected by the storm, BNGRC said.

The storm damaged schools, hospitals, roads and bridges, and crops, said BNGRC. Travel was cut off due to flooding as river waters rose.

An active cyclone season is expected in Mozambique due to warmer than average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the channel, where SSTs are currently a very warm 29°C. Five to seven tropical storms and cyclones are expected between December 2022 and April 2023, according to the World Food Program, with up to four expected to be major cyclones of Category 3 or higher.

Image: BNGRC

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at

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