Batsirai death toll climbing in Madagascar

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from MARIO RAJOMAZANDRY in Antananarivo, Madagascar
Madagascar Bureau
ANTANANARIVO, (CAJ News) THE death toll in the Tropical Cyclone Batsirai in Madagascar has risen to 92.

This is up from around 80 lives that had been reported lost at the beginning of the week.

The Office of Risks and Disasters (Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes or BNGRC) reported that the number of fatalities after the passage of the cyclone, of which 71 have been in Ikongo District in central-eastern Madagascar.

BNGRC also reports nearly 62 000 have been displaced while more than 112 100 others have been grossly affected.

They remain displaced in 99 temporary accommodation sites.

More heavy rainfall has been forecast over south-eastern, central and northern Madagascar in the coming days.

Batsirai made landfall on the east coast—14 kilometres north of the city of Mananjary—on February 5.

As it made landfall, it recorded wind speeds of 165km/h and wind gusts of up to 230km/h.

Thousands of homes have been destroyed, roads and bridges are impassable due to storm damage, electricity has been cut off, and more than 200 schools were impacted by the cyclone.

Action Against Hunger is especially concerned about the impact of the cyclone in the agricultural regions on the east coast.

“The cyclone could have consequences on the next harvest there and ultimately exacerbate the already alarming levels of hunger,” said Olivier Le Guillou, Director for Madagascar.

The country has barely recovered from Cyclone Ana in January and is still heavily impacted by the drought in the southern areas of the country.

Even before this most recent storm, more than 1,6 million people – 37 percent of the population – in the southern regions faced food insecurity.

– CAJ News

 

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