Disasters & Accidents

Cyclone Batsirai kills at least 20 in Madagascar

Antananarivo, Feb 7 (EFE).- At least 20 people died in Madagascar and over 52,000 were forced from their homes by the tropical cyclone Batsirai, local authorities announced on Monday.

The storm, which hit the east African island over the weekend, destroyed over 3,000 houses and flooded more than 5,500, the country’s National Office for Risk and Disaster Management said, adding that the southeastern region of Fitovinany has been the worst hit.

Batsirai made landfall on Saturday near Fitovinany’s Mananjary city, with winds exceeding 235 km/h, according to Madagascar’s Malagasy Meteorology Institute, causing flooding and power outages and destroying buildings, among other material damage.

Madagascar’s president Andry Rajoelina traveled on Monday to the area to assess the damage and show his “solidarity” with those affected by the disaster.

In January, Madagascar was hit by the storm Ana, which claimed at least 58 lives and affected some 131,000 people throughout the island, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. EFE


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