by Matt Taylor Source BBC News 22 January 2009
Madagascar is currently under the influence of not one, but two tropical cyclones, one off its west coast and one off its east coast.
Tropical Cyclone Fanele (09S) is centred off the southwest coast, approximately 250 miles southwest of the capital Antananarivo. The storm is currently producing winds of up to 90mph (145km/hr) and is forecast to intensify further as it moves over the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel, before making landfall near the coastal town of Morondava on Wednesday morning.
Fanele will bring some heavy rainfall and very strong winds to the southwest of the country, but is likely to degrade fairly rapidly over the rugged terrain of south-central Madagascar.
Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone Eric (08S) is brushing the country’s east coast. It is a less intensive storm than Fanele, but will nonetheless bring strong winds and heavy rain to eastern parts over the next day or so.
Western Madagascar is dominated by a tropical monsoonal climate, where most of the rain falls between November and March. Further east, rainfall is more evenly distributed throughout the year due to the influence of the tropical trade winds. Typically, two or three cyclones make landfall on some part of the island every year.