The cyclone was at Category-4 force when it made landfall in northwest Madagascar’s Boeny and Melaky regions.
Maximum sustained winds near the storm’s center were clocked at about 145 mph just prior to landfall, but initial reports say they did not inflict significant damage.
Satellite images revealed the storm underwent rapid weakening as it made landfall, with winds dropping to only about 50 mph after it had traveled just a few miles inland.
The deadliest tropical cyclone on record to hit Madagascar was Gafilo, which made landfall in March 2004 and left over 200 people dead.
Cyclone Hellen Track
Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS