Madagascar (AP) — After landing on the island east coast of Madagascar late Saturday, Cyclone Batsirai is pelting the island with torrential rains and powerful winds.
According to the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, there have been 45,000 people displaced by the tropical storm.
According to the island’s meteorology department, the cyclone made landfall near Mananjary after steadily strengthening in the Indian Ocean at winds exceeding 145 mph.
Those who reside in Mananjary and Manakara and Nosy Varika report that the cyclone has caused extensive damage, with roofs blown off, trees cut down and utility poles knocked down, along with making roads impassable and flooding many areas.
Madagascar already has a waterlogged condition from the rains and tropical storm Ana in January, and now a new cyclone is exerting additional damage.
According to a statement from the meteorology department, Batsirai is classified as a dangerous storm that could bring flooding to the east, southeast and central highlands.
Madagascar, the fourth-largest island in the world, has suspended all land and sea transport because of widespread destruction.
According to the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, almost 600,000 of the island’s 28 million residents are at risk from the cyclone.