Tropical storms wreak havoc

Cyclones continuing to tear across the southern hemisphere have left devastation in Australia and Madagascar.

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    Cyclone Bingiza strikes the island of Madagascar [NASA]

    The southern hemisphere has had its fair share of tropical weather this week. Two cyclones are leaving their mark; one in northern Australia, while another storm makes its second landfall in Madagascar. 

    Australia has seen record flooding this season, especially with the help of a strong La Nina. 

    This past week we ha've watched an area of low pressure circulate over the northern-most parts of Northern Territory - and even though the system remained fairly stationary, it developed into Cyclone Carlos as it made a brief pass over the open waters of the Beagle Gulf, just offshore from Darwin. 

    As a minimal intensity storm, this cyclone dropped an astonishing 600mm of rain over the region. But the cyclone has now switched directions and has made its way back onshore, sticking closely to its previous path. 

    The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has downgraded Carlos to a "tropical low", but unfortunately we are still expecting to see up to a further 300mm of rain in the coming days. 

    Residents of the Daly River community are preparing to evacuate, as the river level rises to an expected peak of 13.2 metres. 

    In the coming forecast, the remnants of Carlos will move southwest - while leaving a trail of heavy precipitation behind.

    Further to the west, on the island nation of Madagascar, Cyclone Bingiza has made its second landfall on its southwest coast. 

    Bingiza has been bringing flooding, high winds and landslides to Madagascar every day since its first landfall on Monday morning. 

    The cyclone has claimed half a dozen lives, left over 15,000 people homeless - and ruined over 8,500 buildings, due to heavy flooding. 

    As one of the poorest countries in the world, conditions continue to look bleak over the next few days, even as the cyclone weakens. 

    And at least another 300mm of rain is expected in the next 48 hours, ensuring the damage estimates will rise even further.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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