Madagascar is being hit by a category four cyclone, and numerous deaths are being reported.
The cyclone, named Giovanna, hit the island in Tamatave and destroyed power lines, roads, isolating people in the area. "Tamatave is like a ghost town. The roads are deserted," resident Joel Milamaro told Reuters.
Madagascar is no stranger to cyclones and other storms; in 2008, cyclone Ivan killed more than 80 residents. John Uniack Davis told IRN that "this is a particularly strong one, and we have not seen one like this for some years… If Giovanna lives up to the category four predictions…it has the potential to cause massive destruction."
"Not since cyclone Indlala in 2007 or perhaps even farther back in time have we had a cyclone with this capacity for large-scale damage. We are calling on all parties to take this storm extremely seriously," David added.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is already urging residents to take cover and predicting destruction in the area of Toamasina, Brickaville, Mahanoro, Vatomandry and Fenerive Est. The cyclone is then expected to move toward Mozambique.
Mozambique has already endured two other storm surges. Tropical depression Dando and cyclone Funso both caused considerable damage, with flooding, roadways destroyed and electrical outages. Fortunately no one was killed in either of those storms.
Twitter users are sharing information about the impact and path of the cyclone. Egghead Odewale posted, "ALERT: A cyclone (Giovanna) has hit Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Heavy winds damaging structures and everything in its way."
"The eye of Tropical Cyclone Giovanna has just passed the Madagascan capital, Antananarivo. Now the wind and rain has resumed," added Steff Gaulter. James Reynolds tweeted, "You never want to see a tropical cyclone this powerful so close to land."