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Successive cyclones bring Madagascar to its knees

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Photo: Cyclone aftermath in northern Madagascar. © Episcopal relief and development

Tropical cyclone Jaya made landfall on Madagascar's northeastern coast on Tuesday on a projected trajectory that will see it rage through areas already devastated by cyclone Indlala just over two weeks ago. It was the sixth mayor cyclone to hit this season. "This is the WORST CYCLONE SEASON IN THE RECORDED HISTORY OF THE COUNTRY." Officials expressed concern over the lack of international media attention the emergency in Madagascar had received, considering the extent of the multiple disasters and the vulnerability of the island and its people. "It is striking that so little attention is being paid to a crisis that affects so many that are already vulnerable because of poverty." With the cyclone season continuing until the end of April or early May, expectations are that Jaya will not be the last disaster to strike the island.

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Southern African communities, local authorities and humanitarian partners are finding their resources stretched to the limit with the early arrival of the rainy season and relentless precipitation as well as an UNPRECEDENTED series of cyclones and tropical storms. Despite recent improvements in the capacities for disaster and emergency preparedness and response, areas of Angola, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia are working to rebuild their homes and recover their livelihoods after months of heavy rains.
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