from MARIO RAJOMAZANDRY in Antananarivo, Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, (CAJ News) – MADAGASCAR is on high alert as more than 260 000 people are at risk as the Cyclone Belna heads towards the country’s north-western coast.
Humanitarian groups have activated response plans in anticipation of the cyclone’s landfall anytime.
“Our teams are on high alert and have put in place preparedness efforts in anticipation of heavy rains and flooding,” said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Operations Coordinator for East Africa.
Andreas Sandin, Operations Coordinator of International Committee of the Red Cross is in Madagascar to oversee response efforts.
The official encouraged communities in the cyclone’s path to remain alert, follow weather forecasts and to heed warning messages from government authorities.
Red Cross volunteers are in place to evacuate communities in the path of the cyclone and conduct hygiene promotion sessions to prevent the outbreak of waterborne diseases.
Teams are ready to provide relief items, emergency shelter and household kits.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has released more than 140 000 Swiss francs (R2 million) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to fund local preparedness efforts ahead of the storm and to support 2 500 people in its aftermath.
– CAJ News