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    Madagascar Remains Target of Tropical Cyclone Bingiza

    By By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
    February 12, 2011, 7:38:07 AM EST

    Tropical Cyclone Bingiza is expected to reach hurricane strength prior to slamming into the southwestern Indian Ocean island of Madagascar later this weekend.

    Tropical Cyclone Bingiza continues to churn nearly stationary less than a few hundred miles off the shore of northeastern Madagascar. Bingiza's strength is currently equal to that of a tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin.

    The outer rain squalls of Bingiza were grazing the island's northeastern coast early Friday morning. However, the worst has yet to come for Madagascar.

    Damaging winds, flooding rain and extremely rough surf will endanger residents of eastern Madagascar later this weekend as Bingiza slams onshore with hurricane strength.

    The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center is expecting landfall in between the eastern Madagascar coastal cities of Vinanivao and Vatomandry Sunday afternoon or night EST.


    Once onshore, the damaging winds accompanying Bingiza will weaken rapidly. Flooding will remain a serious concern, however, through at least early next week.

    According to AccuWeather.com International Expert Meteorologist Jim Andrews, "Tropical cyclone landfalls on the huge island of Madagascar happen almost yearly during the Southern Hemisphere cyclone season, which is most active in this area from January into April."

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