Madagascar: Bad weather forecast to continue in northern parts of the country until at least February 15 / Update 2

Madagascar: Bad weather forecast to continue in northern parts of the country until at least February 15 / Update 2

Severe weather is expected to continue in parts of northern Madagascar until at least February 15. Total rainfall is expected to range from 4 to 9 cm (1.6-3.5 inches) in some areas. Heavy rains may cause flooding in low-lying areas and landslides on unstable slopes.

As of February 12, the Madagascar Directorate General of Meteorology has issued the following warnings:

  • Yellow warnings for heavy rain (medium level on a three-level scale): Maifantanana and Tsaratanana districts in the Betsiboka region and Andaba district in the Sava region.

  • Heavy rain warnings in green: Through the Diana and Sofia Districts, the Andilamina District of the Alautra Mangoro District, and the Mahajanga and Marovoi Districts of the Bwini District.

Authorities are likely to issue new alerts or update/rescind existing ones as weather conditions change over the coming days.

Continued heavy rains may lead to flooding in low-lying communities near rivers, creeks and creeks. Urban flooding is also possible in developed areas that have stormwater drainage systems that are easily inundated. Locations below large reservoirs or rivers may experience flash flooding after relatively short periods of heavy rainfall. Landslides are possible in hilly or mountainous areas, especially when heavy rains saturate the soil. Outages in electrical and communications services are possible when major floods, strong winds, or landslides affect utility networks.

Floodwaters and debris flows may render some bridges, rail or road networks impassable, impacting road travel in and around affected areas. Puddles on road surfaces can create hazardous driving conditions on regional highways. The authorities may temporarily close some low-lying roads submerged in floodwaters.

Severe weather conditions can also lead to flight delays and cancellations at airports in affected areas. Floods could disrupt regional railway lines. Delays and cancellations of freight and passenger trains are possible in areas experiencing heavy rain and possible track flooding.

Localized business disruptions may occur in low-lying areas; Some businesses may not operate at full capacity due to damage to facilities due to flooding and the inability of some employees to reach work sites.

Floods can increase the risk of disease outbreaks. Backflow from drains mixed with floodwater can become trapped in open areas when floods recede. These stagnant ponds often become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and bacteria, increasing the spread of insect and water-borne diseases. Exposure to contaminated water from submerged industrial sites, sewer systems, and septic tanks also poses a major health threat.

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