Madagascar braces for one of its worst-ever tropical cyclones
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Johannesburg: Madagascar, the world’s biggest vanilla producer, is bracing for an intense tropical cyclone that may be one of the worst the Indian Ocean island nation has ever seen, according to commercial forecaster Weather Underground.
The storm is forecast to reach category-four status before making landfall on the northeastern coastline early Tuesday, UK-based Tropical Storm Risk said on its website. That’s the second most severe storm classification, which can see winds of 130-156 miles (209-251 kilometers) per hour. Rainfall could exceed 16 inches (406 millimeters) in many parts of the island during Enawo, as the southern hemisphere’s strongest cyclone this year has been named, according to Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Weather Underground.
Models “have shown some very worrisome amounts of rain falling on heavily populated regions of Madagascar,” said Jeff Masters, Weather Underground’s co-founder. “Enawo has the potential to be a top-five most damaging storm in the island’s history.”
Madagascar has a population of about 24 million with gross domestic product per capita of $401.8 in 2015, making it one of the poorest nations globally, according to World Bank data. It’s one of the 10 countries most at risk from the effects of global warming, according to the Washington-based lender.
Canada’s Sherritt International Corp., Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. and Korea Resources operate the Ambatovy nickel mine in the east of the island, which was in 2016 forecast to produce as much as 50,000 tons of the metal that’s used to coat stainless steel. Bloomberg