ANTANANARIVO: Tropical cyclone Haruna has hit the large Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar, claiming one life and threatening some 30 southern towns, authorities said.
The cyclone struck Madagascar 15 hours earlier than expected, having "deviated from its trajectory and landed 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the (southeastern) town of Morombe at around 6:00 am (0300 GMT)", the head of the forecasting division of the meteorological service, Ndinizara Newsman de Priscofe, told AFP.
One death had been registered in Morombe, according to the executive secretary of the National Bureau of Risk and Catastrophe Management, Raymond Randriatahina.
The cyclone was moving towards the southeast of the country at 10 kilometres per hour and strong gusts of wind were attaining speeds of 200 km/h, the weather service said.
About 30 towns in the south of the country were under threat of violent storms on Friday, Newsman de Priscofe said.
"At this rate, cyclone Haruna should leave Madagascar on Saturday," he added.