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Ava to inundate Madagascar with life-threatening flooding

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Adam Douty, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 08, 2018, 1:42:27 AM EST

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As Ava departs Madagascar early this week, life-threatening flooding and mudslides will continue to impact the region.

Ava reached the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans prior to making landfall near Toamasina on Friday afternoon, local time. Prior to landfall, winds gusted to 137 km/h (85 mph) at Toamasina.

While Ava weakened over land into a tropical rainstorm, the system re-emerged over the Indian Ocean and re-strengthened into a tropical storm for brief time. The storm is now a tropical depression.

The risk to lives and property will remain high across central and southern parts of the country, even as Ava moves away.

Flood Threat Continues for Madagascar


There is a high risk for flooding and mudslides as rainfall amounts of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) will be common through Monday night. There can be local amounts over 300 mm (12 inches).

Residents should heed all orders for evacuation. Roads and bridges may also become damaged, which can isolate some communities for an extended period of time.

The mountains east of Antananarivo should protect the capital city from the worst of the cyclone. Enough rain to cause flash flooding can still pour down through Monday.

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Despite the continued rain threat, the strongest winds from the newly restrengthened Ava should remain offshore going forward.

As Ava continues to depart, conditions will gradually improve across northern Madagascar for cleanup efforts to commence.

Localized downpours will make northwestern areas the exception. In fact, enough rain can fall into early next week to trigger new mudslides or aggravate ongoing flooding.

Impacts from Ava will not just be limited to Madagascar. While Réunion and Mauritius will not endure a land-falling tropical cyclone, daily tropical downpours will stream over the islands through Monday.

Between the two islands, rainfall will be heaviest on Réunion, where Saint-Denis has been inundated with more than 400 mm (16 inches) of rain from Wednesday to Saturday morning.

The risk for flash flooding and mudslides will progressively become more severe with each bout of heavy rain.

Drier conditions can be expected across most of Madagascar heading into the middle of the week as Ava and its associated moisture depart the region. A few pop up showers and thunderstorms could continue, but clean-up operations across most of the island should improve significantly.

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