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17 dead after Tropical Storm Eliakim makes landfall in Madagascar

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Tropical Storm Eliakim, with the southern tip of Madagascar visible in the bottom left corner.

Tropical Storm Eliakim, with the southern tip of Madagascar visible in the bottom left corner.

At least 17 people have died, and thousands more affected, in Madagascar after a powerful tropical storm made landfall in the island nation over the weekend.

Tropical storm Eliakim, the sixth named storm in the region, made landfall on Friday on Madagascar’s northeastern coast, barreling downwards along the coastline before leaving the island on Sunday, denuding the districts along its path with a heavy deluge, further wreaking havoc in a region set upon by the Tropical Cyclone Dumazile in early March.

According to Madagascar’s National Bureau of Management of Risks and Catastrophes (BNGRC), Tropical Storm Eliakim had, as of Sunday, had affected 15,772 people including 17 fatalities, and 6,282 displaced people. The storm had also flooded at least 1,271 houses.

Storm Eliakim is currently is currently on a southeastward trajectory, over the Indian Ocean, and is expected to attain a maximum wind speed of 58 MPH by Tuesday. By and large, its path seems to take it away from the smaller islands to the east of Madagascar, such as Mauritius and Reunion, but as it has not completely dissipated, the possibility of it making a landfall on any of these islands exists.

The current trajectory of Storm Eliakim

The current trajectory of Storm Eliakim

In Madagascar, and for much of the Southwest Indian Ocean Region, the Cyclone season which began in November 2017 is to end in May 2018.

So far this season, the most devastating cyclone was Ava, which struck Madagascar in January, affecting more than 83,000 people.

However, Cyclone Enawo remains the most powerful cyclone in recent memory. It made landfall in March 2017, affecting more than 176,000 people and resulting in at least 50 deaths.