Tropical Cyclone Hellen, over the southwest Indian Ocean, is threatening Madagascar and other parts of Africa after gaining strength over the weekend.
The storm was packing winds as high as 145 miles per hour, equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane, according to the Regional Specialized Meteorlogical Centre.
It said that “the likelihood is increasing for an extremely dangerous tropical cyclone landfall over the northwestern coastline of Madagascar.”
“All preparations for a ‘worst cast’ scenario should be underway,” it added.
The storm is projected to hit Madagascar on Monday, impacting Boeny and Melaky, two regions with an estimated population of around 700,000 in the last count, in 2004.
The storm is then projected to his mainland Africa on Thursday, primarily Mozambique. But it should be much weaker by then.
The deadliest tropical cyclone in modern times in Madagascar, Gafilo, made landfall in March 2004 and left over 200 people dead.