Living through the cyclone, before, during and ENAWO

I wanted to share some texts and messages from all over Madagascar, from friends and students and people living through the cyclone, before, during and after ENAWO. Just to clarify, I had left Antalaha 2 weeks before the storm hit to return to Canada . When I left Madagascar on February 20th, ENAWO was not yet on the radar. This was my experience being so far away from it all and in the dark for days…

Part 1: Just as ENAWO was on its way, before communication was lost:


Arnaud, English student and friend in Antalaha



Manny, Peace Corps volunteer in the SAVA region, evacuated from his site to Sambava (SAVA stands for Sambava, Andapa, Vohemar and Antalaha)


Dan of USAID Madagascar

Part 2: All communication was lost for a week. Antalaha had no electricity, no water, no cellular networks and no wifi. (That is still the case today in some places):

Part 3: People that were able to get out after ENAWO started sending messages from Sambava, a town about an hour a half away that was not hit as bad and still had working wifi:

Kunkel USAIDMahalia 80 families living at the high schooltweet

Part 4: Finally some news from Antalaha 8 days later…:

Mahalia i am so sad

Peace Corps volunteer Mahalia was evacuated from Antalaha to Sambava before the storm. A week later she was allowed back and this was her text to me.


“Wifi is back but connection is not good.” MHKHZ

IMG_3543 (1)

“Finally we have connection! Your Malagasy family is doing ok (see photo). The beach has decreased significantly. ” Marie Helene Kam Hyo Zschocke


Regarding the leprosy village: “The water needs to be restored, the metal roofs, the walls, the mattresses! We have to buy them all rice! The kindergarten is destroyed, “out of order”! ” -Marie Helene of CALA villages


“How are you? You’re family, your house?” “Very well thank you, the house is destroyed.” -Euphrasie, a friend

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This next one is by Matthew, aka Mat Lo on FB. He is from La Reunion/France and lives in Antalaha. Written so beautifully in French,  here is my attempt at translating his poetry in to English:

The days following… The town is busy without any assistance to date. The metal sheet roofs that flew off, torn by the wind are being placed back one by one. The roofs look like scattered broken teeth. Mounds of vegetation form on every corner of the street. The days of sunshine that we had were a saving grace to dry some of what is soaked. The atmosphere is heavy, thick, no more tree shaded corners to escape to. After having hoped so much for the skis to clear, we now suffer the full burning March sun. The term “resilience”, makes complete and utter sense here …

-Mat Lo resident of Antalaha


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Ertice, a colleague at Macolline, a student and a friend.



And the best message of them all…


Click below for recent articles about ENAWO appearing in English, French and African news:

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