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Cyclone Haruna Kills 18 on Madagascar March 1, 2013
CIMSS Satellite Loop
The broad eye of Cyclone Haruna can be seen spinning as the Category 2 storm made landfall in southwestern Madagascar on February 22.
At least 23 people were killed and thousands of others were made homeless when powerful Cyclone Haruna slammed into a remote stretch of Madagascar’s southwestern coast on February 22.

The storm has reached Category 3 intensity hours before making landfall.

But its winds had only Category 2 force when it struck the island’s Morombe and Toliary districts, according to meteorologists.

Haruna left villages submerged and caused extensive damage in several towns, including the city of Tulear, which was inundated by the overflowing Fiherenana River.

Rescue operations were complicated by the unexpected location of the flooding in the normally arid southwest of the island.  

“Most of (our) and other NGOs’ emergency stock are located in the east of the country, as that is where the cyclones usually hit,” said Willem van Milink of the World Food Program.

Madagascar is frequently hit by floods and cyclones during the rainy season, which stretches from October to April.

Cyclone Felleng skirted the country’s northeastern coast in late January, killing nine people and displacing 1,300, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Cyclone Haruna Track

Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS