Cyclone Gamane wreaks havoc in Madagascar


Tropical Cyclone

from MARIO RAJOMAZANDRY in Antananarivo, Madagascar
Madagascar Bureau
ANTANANARIVO, (CAJ News) – MADAGASCAR is reeling from the tropical cyclone Gamane that has left at least 18 people dead.

Initial reports indicate that over 535 000 people have been affected across 33 flooded communes, and 22 000 persons displaced. 

About 19 000 homes have been flooded and extensive damage is reported on roads and essential infrastructure, including 22 health centres and 135 schools.

More than 2 200 hectares of rice fields face the risk of being silted, jeopardising livelihoods of populations across the affected areas.

An estimated 220 000 people require immediate humanitarian assistance due to the catastrophic impact of the cyclone in northeast Madagascar.

The tropical cyclone made landfall on March 27, wreaking havoc in the regions of Analanjirofo, Atsinanana, Diana and Sava.

“The cyclone exacerbates the hardships of populations already burdened by multiple crises,” said Roger Charles Evina, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission.

He noted the El Nino conditions resulted in erratic rainfalls in the past months, with populations in the Grand Sud bracing for a severe drought, while Tropical Storm Alvaro in January and excessive rainfall in February had resulted in major flooding in the north and southwestern regions, affecting close to 52 000 people.

The government has declared a national emergency in response to the tropical cyclone.

Humanitarian organizations seek to immediately assist 165 000 people with emergency assistance, including shelter, food, water and sanitation, health care, education and protection support.

A majority of displaced families who initially sought shelter across 87 evacuation centres are now temporarily hosted by relatives – with a minority remaining in evacuation centres.

Emergency supplies are close to being depleted, as stocks have been used to assist populations affected by disasters since the beginning of the year.

Madagascar is highly exposed to natural hazards and ranks among the top ten of countries most vulnerable to climate change globally.

In the past years, the country has been confronted by a succession of disasters arising from drought, floods and cyclones.

Prior to the cyclone, the United Nations estimated that 2,3 million people were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Madagascar.

A total of US$90 million has been requested under the 2024 Flash AppeaL. It is currently under 20 percent funded.

– CAJ News

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