Cyclone Enawo Pounds Madagascar, 3 Killed

 Cyclone Enawo Pounds Madagascar, 3 Killed

Cyclone Enawo, a massive tropical storm packing winds gusting as high as 300 kmh, killed at least three persons when it slammed into the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, officials said on Wednesday.
Enawo struck the northeast village of Ampahana around 12 GMT on Tuesday.
It had since been downgraded from an “intense tropical cyclone” to a “tropical storm” with winds gusting at 130 kmh, domestic weather bulletins said.
The cyclone on Tuesday hit with winds estimated at 145 mph, making it the most powerful storm to hit the island nation in 13 years, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters.
Aid workers were on alert as the storm lashed the coastline.
Enawo is forecast to rapidly weaken as it drives inland over the mountainous terrain of Madagascar, the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre said.
Damaging winds and heavy rainfall will hit the northern part of the island into Wednesday, AccuWeather meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.
Though the storm’s winds will diminish, ongoing heavy rain and the resulting floods will be the most dangerous parts of the storm.
Enawo has the potential to be in the top three most damaging storms in the island’s history if the forecast for heavy rain holds and causes flooding, Masters said.
A cyclone is the same type of storm as a hurricane or typhoon. In the Indian Ocean these storms are called cyclones or tropical cyclones. Since it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, Enawo spins in a clockwise direction, unlike hurricanes and storms in the Northern Hemisphere, which rotate counterclockwise.
Twelve major — Category 3 or stronger — tropical cyclones have struck Madagascar since 1983, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In March 2004, Tropical Cyclone Gafilo hit in roughly the same area of northeast Madagascar as Enawo, the Weather Channel said.
Gafilo killed 363 people, according to the EM-DAT International Disaster Database.


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