Cyclone Baciray: At least 20 killed in Madagascar’s tropical storm Weather news

More than 55,000 people have been displaced; thousands of buildings were destroyed and flooded in Mananjari and nearby towns, officials said.

At least 20 people have been killed and more than 55,000 displaced after Cyclone Bacirai hit the east coast of Madagascar, officials said.

The tropical storm weakened rapidly as it moved southwest across the island, passing the capital Antananarivo and posing little risk to other areas except heavy rainfall, the national meteorological department said Monday.

Batsirai, South Africa’s second-largest cyclone this year, is expected to dissipate further when it leaves Madagascar and should not pose a serious risk to Mozambique, the meteorological department said.

Locals stand among ruined houses after Cyclone BatsiraiLocals stand among ruined houses after Cyclone Batsirai, in Mananjari, Madagascar, February 7, 2022. [Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters]

Officials in Madagascar are working to repair the damage caused by Batsirai.

President Andri Rajoelina went to the town of Mananjari on Monday to see the devastation of the storm and relief efforts.

Baqirai destroyed about 3,000 homes and government buildings and flooded 5,700 others in Mananjari and nearby towns, officials said.

“The first thing the government is doing is to see how to renovate and rehabilitate office buildings, giving priority to health centers and hospitals,” General Elak Andriankaya, director general of the National Risk and Disaster Management Service, told the Associated Press. .

“Many administrative buildings have been completely destroyed in these regions, and in Mananjari in particular,” he said.

Madagascar was still collecting the pieces after tropical storm Anna affected at least 131,000 people across the island in late January, with most of the 55 deaths in Antananarivo. Anna also hit Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, causing dozens of deaths.

“Humanitarian crisis”

The cyclone has partially destroyed the main road connecting the north and south of the island, “which will make it difficult to access and strengthen villages, including in drought-stricken areas,” Jean-Benoit Manges, a spokesman for the UN children’s agency UNICEF in Madagascar, told Madagascar. AFP.

“Madagascar is in a constant humanitarian crisis,” he added.

About 20 roads and 17 bridges have been cut, according to the country’s disaster management agency.

A local man is standing inside a damaged church after Cyclone BatsiraiA local man stands inside a damaged church after Cyclone Batsirai, in the city of Mananjari, Madagascar, February 7, 2022. [Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters]

Some of the worst-hit areas, such as the city of Manakara, have become inaccessible, the United Nations Humanitarian Agency (OCHA) said.

The UN made its first flight on Monday to try to assess the damage and how best to respond.

About 10,000 people in La Reunion were left without electricity on Sunday, three days after Batsirai crossed the French island, injuring 12 people.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told a summit of African leaders on Sunday that the continent was “experiencing the worst effects of global warming, such as droughts, floods and cyclones”.

“Although they are not responsible for causing climate change, it is the Africans who bear both the burden and the cost,” he said.

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