Madagascar’s government suspended schools and transport in the path of tropical cyclone Freddy, which made landfall in the southeast of the island on Tuesday evening, causing a storm surge, ripping roofs off houses and killing at least one person.
Freddy weakened slightly before landing around 30 km (18 miles) north of Mananjary town, at around 07:20 p.m., with average winds of 130 kilometres per hour (80 miles per hour), and gusts of 180 km/h near the eye, the Madagascar meteorological service said.
Heavy rains and waves of over 26 feet (8 metres) were expected near the impact zone, the International Federation of Red Cross said on Twitter, issuing a red alert for the area.
A 27-year-old man drowned near the port of Mahanoro, the National Office of Risks and Disasters said. More than 7,000 people had been preventively evacuated from the Vatovavy region, it said.
All traffic in cyclone Freddy’s projected path was suspended overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, the ministry of transport and meteorology said.
The ministry of education said it had suspended classes in at least 10 regions.