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    Posted February 12, 2012 by
    Toamasina, Madagascar
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Severe weather

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    Giovanna remains a dangerous and potentially destructive tropical cyclone for Madagascar.


    Toamasina, Madagascar – As of 1500 GMT, Giovanna was located approximately 260 nautical miles north-northeast of La Reunion and is slowly tracking to the west-southwest at 6 mph.  As of this advisory, this storm is forecasted to strike with the center of the storm moving onshore near or over Toamasina just after midnight on Tuesday February 14th as a destructive and deadly category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.  By comparison, Hurricane Katrina that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 was a category 3 storm at the time of landfall.


    Even though this is less than yesterday’s forecast of a category 4 storm, the Swinden Group, a crisis and weather risk management consulting firm, is still recommending that any travelers or Expats along the central Madagascar coastal areas – including the port city of Toamasina -- evacuate the area or be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least a week or more.  Tropical storm force winds should begin to batter the coastline in about 18 hours or Monday afternoon.  Preparations should be rushed to completion.

    Current maximum sustained are 115 mph with higher gusts making this a category 3 storm and Giovanna should slowly intensify prior to making landfall over Madagascar with winds possibly of 125 mph or more at time of landfall early morning Monday February 14th.  Currently hurricane force winds extend out 35 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend out 110 miles.  So this is a fairly small, but extremely potent storm.

    The capital city of Antananarivo, with a population of well over 1 million, should be in the storm’s path and while the Giovanna will weaken while tracking over Madagascar, Antananarivo should experience hurricane or near hurricane force winds.

    Giovanna will then re-emerge over the Mozambique Channel and re-intensify and eventually strike southern Mozambique.

    Threats and damages - Giovanna will be a destructive storm 

    If Giovanna strikes Madagascar as a category 3 storm, this will be on par with the death and destruction from the 1994 Tropical Cyclone Geralda in which the storm followed a similar path.  Geralda destroyed 80% of the Toamasina seaport. 40,000 houses were destroyed or damaged. Lines of communications, railways, roads and bridges were brought down by the extreme force of the storm.  Giovanna could be worse.

    With regards to Giovanna, expect widespread coastal flooding due to the storm surge, widespread inland flooding due to torrential rains and heavy damage to the infrastructure and will be off-line for weeks. Travel to be heavily affected for land and air, especially if the storm damages Antananarivo airport.



    About The Swinden Group, LLC



    The Swinden Group, LLC provides companies and organizations security, investigations, and risk management services worldwide.  Severe Weather Advisories are provided to corporations and business travelers in order for them to prepare for travel or business impacting weather events. 

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    Matt Swinden

    The Swinden Group

    Phone: 1-303-406-3622

    Web: www.TheSwindenGroup.com

    Email: matt@theswindengroup.com

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/SwindenGroup


    18 hours or Monday afternoon. Preparations should be rushed to completion.

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