March 9 (UPI) -- At least five people were killed when Cyclone Ewano made landfall on northeastern Madagascar, off the African coast, officials said.
Weather Underground said the westward-moving Category 4 cyclone struck Tuesday with 145 mph winds, making it the most severe storm in 13 years to reach the island nation, USA Today reported Thursday.
The storm made landfall between the communities of Farahalana and Anthahala, and 12 inches of rain was reported in 12 hours on Tuesday.
The storm diminished in strength by Thursday but emergency groups are warning of continued rain and possible flooding, including in the capital of Antananarivo. Parts of the city were evacuated, and Prime Minister Olivier Mahafaly ordered government buildings closed as a precaution.
Twelve storms rated Category 3 or greater have struck Madagascar since 1983, NOAA reported. A 2004 cyclone, Gafilo, killed 363 people, according to the EM-DAT International Disaster Database.