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Tropical Cyclone Felleng Hits Madagascar and Nearby Islands

By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
February 03, 2013, 4:28:22 AM EST

Tropical Cyclone Felleng continues to produce gusty winds and locally heavy rainfall across parts of Madagascar and the neighboring islands of Reunion and Mauritius.

Felleng is currently packing sustained winds near 70 mph, just below hurricane force. The storm is expected to slowly weaken over the next day or two and remain over the open waters of the Indian Ocean as flooding continues to be the primary threat for areas affected by the storm.

Across Madagascar, the worst weather has been near the eastern coastline. The major port city of Toamasina reported over 7 inches of rainfall from the storm, with more than 5 inches falling in less than 24 hours.

Farther south along the east coast, Mahanoro received over 5 inches of rainfall from the storm.

The heaviest rainfall from the storm is still impacting Tolanaro where between 3 and 4 inches of rain has already fallen.

Heavy rain and gusty winds have also been pounding Reunion. Thus, far the storm has dumped more than 6.50 inches with locally heavy rainfall expected through Saturday morning.

Felleng already made its presence known across the Agalega Islands as well as the Seychelles earlier this week. The Agalega Islands reported nearly 10 inches of rainfall in less than 48 hours resulting in widespread flooding.

Meanwhile the Seychelles, hundreds of miles from the center of the storm were caught by outer rain bands which resulted in over 7 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour time period, resulting in a state of emergency.

The extreme rainfall led to flooding and landslides across the islands which damaged at least 150 homes, fortunately not deaths were reported.

The center of Tropical Cyclone Felleng passed very close to Tromelin Island with sustained winds near 60 mph for time on Wednesday. The island is a sanctuary for many important bird species in the region.

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