Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Cyclone Batsirai in the Indian Ocean. The storm has rapidly intensified into the equivalent of a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane with sustained winds near 145 miles per hour.
Batsirai is headed for Madagascar, where people are still trying to recover from another cyclone that hit just two weeks ago.
The death toll from Tropical Storm Ana, which is currently at 80, continues to rise. Hundreds of thousands of people were impacted by heavy rainfall and flash flooding.
Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. The region has been hit hard by back-to-back years of severe drought. Last year, the World Food Programme (WFP) reported that more than one million people in southern Madagascar were struggling to get enough to eat, due to what could become the first famine caused by climate change.
Madagascar is expected to take a direct hit from Cyclone Batsirai. According to forecasts from the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the cyclone is likely to make landfall in Madagascar late on February 4.
The nearby island nation of Mauritius reportedly escaped without “major damage” from Batsirai.
The image was captured on February 2, 2022 by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NOAA-NASA Suomi NPP satellite.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory