At least 23 people perished the previous week as Giovanna’s eye cut a deadly path through the heart of the island nation, including the capital of Antananarivo.
Flash flooding and high winds wiped out crops in the sugar-producing region. They also damaged bridges, especially those linking the capital and the eastern port of Toamasina.
Some residents near where the storm made landfall said they were only warned of its arrival when winds were approaching hurricane force.
“By the time the (administrator of the district) came to warn us about the cyclone, it was already here. All we could do was run to the church for cover,” said Jean Noel, a mother of six who lives in Brickaville.
Two weeks without power and telecommunications before Giovanna’s arrival had prevented the warnings from being received from the nation’s meteorological service, according to the relief news agency IRIN.
Cyclone Giovanna Track
Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS