CAT 1 hurricane wind speeds of 41 m/s reported. Threatens Mozambique also.

Fanele is nearing Madagascar in the South West Indian basin, and has CAT 1 hurricane wind speeds, reported at 41 m/s and 79kt.

It is forecast to strike land in Madagascar.

There is a 40% likelihood of CAT 1 status in Madagascar within 24 hours, according to Tropical Storm Risk, and a 80% probability of Tropical Storm status in Madagascar within 12 hours.

Mozambique could also be struck. “It will influence heavy rainfalls and worsening flooding in the already stricken areas in central Mozambique. The next few hours we expect it to make a landfall in Madagascar then Mozambique later in the day”, said Mussa Mustafa, head of Mozambique's National Meteorological Institute (INAM).

“The northern city of Lichinga in Niassa Province is already under heavy rains, and we expect the four provinces to have more rains which could flood the rivers on Wednesday”, Mustafa said.

Mozambique and other neighboring countries have been lashed by heavy seasonal rains for several weeks, causing swollen rivers to burst their banks and forcing thousands of villagers to flee flooded homes for safer grounds.

At least 25 people have been swept to their deaths when they tried to swim in flooded rivers in the central regions of the country in early January, according to the African Press Agency.

INAM warned that Mozambique could face up to ten deadly cyclones by March, worsening the flooding that has engulfed parts of the southern African nation.