10 January 2018

Madagascar: Cyclone Death Toll Rises to 33

The death toll from the tropical cyclone Ava that hit Madagascar last week has risen to 33, authorities said Tuesday.

The National Bureau for Risk and Disaster Management had earlier on Monday put the dead at at least 29 and more than 22 people missing.

About 123,240 people were affected by the cyclone and more than 24,000 displaced due to floods and landslides.

Among those killed were nine members of a family who had been at a funeral vigil on Monday night when their house was hit by a landslide, Malagasy authorities said.

Cyclone Ava hit the eastern coast of the island nation on Friday and Saturday at wind speeds of between 140kph and 200kph.

Violent winds and torrential rains lead to overflow of rivers causing major flooding in suburbs of the capital Antananarivo.

Officials said more than 34,000 pupils had classes suspended until Thursday.

Major roads were also damaged.

Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world, is regularly hit by cyclones. About forty-five cyclones and tropical storms have hit the southern Africa island nation in a decade.

Last March, cyclone Enawo hit Madagascar killing at least 78 people.

Former president Marc Ravalomanana on Tuesday urged the Malagasy government to request global funding under the Paris climate change agreement.

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