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Twin Cyclones Strike Madagascar January 23, 2009
Remnants of Tropical Cyclone Eric can be seen rushing away from the southeast of Madagascar while Cyclone Fanele strikes the island's west coast.
The stronger of two powerful cyclones to strike Madagascar within three days destroyed buildings and flooded a vast area in the west of the Indian Ocean island.

Cyclone Fanele made landfall as a Category 3 storm at dawn on Wednesday, packing winds of up to 130 mph (210/km/h), according to the National Office for Disasters Preparedness.

Spokesperson Dia Styvanley Soa said some of the buildings damaged by the storm were designated as emergency refugee centers along the coast of Toliara province.

Satellite images showed a clearly defined and powerful cyclone eye wall at the center of Fanele just before it made landfall near the community of Belo.

Fanele continued to produce torrential rainfall as it was weakened by the rough terrain of Madagascarís southern interior.

On Monday, weaker Cyclone Eric struck the countryís eastern coast, killing one person and leaving nearly a thousand others homeless.

The storm brought most of the damage to the Fenerive-Est region before moving rapidly to the southeast and dissipating over the cooler waters of the southern Indian Ocean.

Some meteorologists have cautioned that a warmer-than-average summer in parts of the Southern Hemisphere could mean stronger storms this season for cyclone-prone Madagascar.

Tropical Storm Eric Track

Tropical Storm Fanele Track

Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS