Madagascar’s poor economic and development capacity make it difficult for the country to adapt to a variable and changing climate. From 1980 to 2010, 53 natural hazards - including, droughts, earthquakes, epidemics, floods, cyclones, and extreme temperatures - affected Madagascar and caused economic damages of over US$1 billion. High poverty rates and lack of functional institutions increase vulnerability to natural and climatic hazards such as floods, droughts, cyclones, extreme temperatures, and sea level rise. 

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.

Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.


Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards.

Natural Hazard / Development Nexus

Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.



Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

Key Vulnerabilities
  • Madagascar has one of the highest cyclone risks among African countries, with an average of three to four cyclones affecting the country every year. Cyclone season begins in November and ends in March and can cause significant damage across the island nation. 
  • Driven by large-scale disruptions in atmospheric circulation and exacerbated by poor land use practices, droughts are a common occurrence in the south of Madagascar, which is the hottest and driest part of the island, with some areas receiving less than 400mm of rainfall each year.
  • Intense rainfall events caused by strong storms and tropical cyclones, coupled with poor land use practices and increasing deforestation, can lead to significant and damaging floods across the country. Over 30 floods or heavy rainfall events affected Madagascar in the past 30 years, killing hundreds of people and affecting thousands.
  • Shoreline erosion caused by sea level rise is already a significant problem to the coastal ports and beaches of Madagascar. Coastal erosion as measured in 1997 was between 5.71 and 6.54 meters, and this is projected to increases exponentially by 2100.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Cyclones are expected to decrease in frequency but increase in intensity.
  • Projected decreases in rainfall, coupled with projected increases in the length of the dry periods in the future could pose additional stress on the already vulnerable livelihoods of southern Madagascar.
  • Projected temperature increases could disrupt unique and critical micro-climates and lead to significant changes to local farming systems, with implications for food security.