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Southern Africa: Cyclone Belna - Flash Update No. 3 (As of 9 December 2019)

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  • Tropical Cyclone Belna is expected to make landfall in Soalala district in the west of Madagascar on the afternoon of 9 December.

  • Strong winds and torrential rainfall are already affecting the north-west of Madagascar and Mayotte island.

  • The Government of Madagascar has pre-deployed teams to key locations to prepare for landfall, and preventive evacuations are underway in Boeny region.


Tropical Cyclone Belna has moved south in the past days and is expected to hit Soalala district in Boeny region, on the western coast of Madagascar, on the afternoon of 9 December.
The cyclone currently has a maximum wind speed of 165 km/h.

Cyclone Belna has already passed near the French island of Mayotte, located north-west of Madagascar, bringing heavy rains, and is causing storms and winds in Boeny region in Madagascar ahead of its landfall.

Separately, Tropical Cyclone Ambali, which was located east of Madagascar last week, has dissipated without impacting land.

Experts report that Ambali had the most rapid intensification on record in the Southern Hemisphere.


In Madagascar, the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC) has deployed three teams, each accompanied by a Civil Protection Corps Unit, to Mahajanga in Boeny region, Morondava in Menabe region and Toliara in Atsimo-Andrefana region, in anticipation of Belna’s landfall. Their main tasks will be: setting up emergency operations centres with local authorities; opening roads in case of landslides or other obstacles; possible emergency evacuations by sea and river; and delivery of medicines on behalf of the Ministry of Public Health.

All districts in Boeny region are on red alert (imminent danger), and people living in flood-prone areas of Boeny region are being evacuated as a preventive measure. All schools along the western coast of Madagascar have been closed. The Early Warning System for Morondava River in Menabe region has been activated and regular bulletins are being published informing of the level of the river. There are 11 humanitarian partners operational in north-western areas of Madagascar.

On Mayotte, authorities warned inhabitants on 8 December to stock up on water, stay indoors and not go out under any circumstances. The airport was also closed as a precautionary measure.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit