Cyclone Giovanna Poses Extreme Danger to Madagascar

February 13, 2012; 2:15 PM ET
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The potentially devastating winds, rain and storm tide of Tropical Cyclone Giovanna will be brought to bear on eastern Madagascar Monday.

Life and property will be at great risk in and near the direct path of this dangerous storm, which landfall will be along the middle eastern coast of Madagascar late Monday, EST.

Monday morning, the eye of Tropical Cyclone Giovanna was located within 150 miles east-southeast of Toamasina, Madagascar, the Tropical Cyclone Center of La Reunion said. The storm was headed towards the west at nearly 15 mph.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Jesse Ferrell has more images of Giovanna in his blog.

Sunday night, top winds of Giovanna was reckoned to be 125 knots, or almost 145 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Thus, Giovanna's intensity was akin to that of a Category 4 hurricane.

The JTWC forecast was for Category 4 status to be sustained as the eye of Giovanna nears landfall late Monday.

Greatest danger from potentially devastating 100-mph winds and high storm tides will be to a stretch of coast near and south of Toamasina.

Flooding rain, having potential to amount to 10 to 20 inches, will reach inland to the island nation's spine of highlands. The torrential rain could trigger landslides.

Giovanna will weaken markedly once inland, emerging by Tuesday night over the Mozambique Channel. The threat of flooding rain will follow the weakened storm right to the west coast of Madagascar.

Later in the week, Giovanna could reach the shores of southern Mozambique as a named tropical cyclone.

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