Printed on Thu Sep 29 2022 8:36:36 PM

Cyclone Kills at Least 10 in Madagascar

International desk
World
Madagascar
A cyclone killed at least 10 people in southeastern Madagascar, the second to hit the Indian Ocean island in just two weeks, triggering floods, bringing down buildings, and cutting power, officials said.

One of the worst-hit towns was Nosy Varika on the east coast where almost 95% of buildings were destroyed "as if we had just been bombed" and floods cut access, an official said.

Cyclone Batsirai swept inland late on Saturday, slamming into the eastern coastline with heavy rain and wind speeds of 165 km/h. It was projected it could displace as many as 150,000 people.

The damage from the storm compounded the destruction wreaked by Cyclone Ana, which hit the island, with a population of nearly 30,000,000, two weeks ago, killing 55 people and displacing 130,000

Madagascar's office of disaster and risk management said in a bulletin 10 people had been killed. State radio said some died when their house collapsed in the town of Ambalavao, about 460 kilometers south of the capital Antananarivo.

"We saw only desolation: uprooted trees, fallen electric poles, roofs torn off by the wind, the city completely underwater," Nirina Rahaingosoa, a resident of Fianarantsoa, 420 kilometers south of the capital, told over the phone.

Electricity was knocked out in the town as poles were toppled by gusts of winds that blew all night into Sunday morning, he said.

Willy Raharijaona, the technical adviser to the vice president of Madagascar's Senate, said some parts of the southeast had been cut off from the surrounding areas by flooding.

"It's as if we had just been bombed. The city of Nosy Varika is almost 95% destroyed," he said.

"The solid houses saw their roofs torn off by the wind. The wooden huts have for the most part been destroyed."
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