Strengthening Enawo may deliver dangerous strike to Madagascar early next week
Enawo will strengthen into a powerful tropical cyclone before posing a risk to lives and property in Madagascar early next week.
As Enawo strengthens this weekend, Madagascar residents should make necessary precautions as impacts from the cyclone will not be limited to the open waters of the southwestern Indian Ocean.
By the end of the weekend, Enawo is expected to intensify into a tropical cyclone at a strength equal to a strong Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific oceans. Rain, wind and seas will build around Enawo’s center as it intensifies, posing dangers to shipping interests.
AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring two scenarios for Enawo. The cyclone could remain over the open waters in between Madagascar and Reunion Island next week with its torrential rain and damaging winds grazing the eastern coast of Madagascar.
However, there is growing concern that Enawo will make a direct hit on northeastern Madagascar on Monday afternoon, local time.
In either scenario, Enawo is expected to strengthen into an intense tropical cyclone (the equivalent of a major hurricane) before it makes its closest approach to Madagascar.
“Regardless of its track, it is evident that northeastern Madagascar will experience increasing winds and heavy rainfall starting later on Sunday night or Monday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.
A direct landfall would put the northern province of Antsiranana at risk for life-threatening flooding rain and destructive wind gusts in excess of 160 km/h (100 mph). Residents of Sambava, Antalaha and Ambalabe could face days to even weeks without power or other utilities as streets become littered with downed trees and branches.
Poorly constructed signs and buildings may be destroyed. Major damage to well-built homes and businesses it not out of the question. Anyone venturing outside during the height of the cyclone would face bodily harm or death due to flying debris.
A direct strike on northeastern Madagascar would also lead to a life-threatening storm surge near and to the south of where Enawo makes landfall. Water funneling into Helodrano Antongila Bay could especially put lives and property in danger in Maroantsetra.
After landfall, Enawo may continue southward across Madagascar through Thursday.