Cyclone kills at least 10 people, destroys homes and reduces power in Madagascar

Antananarivo-Cyclones killed at least 10 people in southeastern Madagascar, struck islands in the Indian Ocean in just two weeks, caused floods, destroyed buildings and reduced electricity, officials said Sunday.

One of the most devastated towns was Nosy-Varika on the east coast, where nearly 95% of the buildings were destroyed “as if they were just bombed” and access was blocked by floods, officials said.

The cyclone Batsirai struck the endorheic late Saturday and crashed into the east coastline with heavy rains and wind speeds of 165 kph (100 mph). It was predicted that it could expel as many as 150,000 people.

The damage caused by the storm exacerbated the destruction caused by Cyclone Anna, which struck the island two weeks ago, with a population of about 30 million, 55 dead and 130,000 evacuated.

Madagascar’s Disaster and Risk Management Department said 10 people were killed in a breaking news late Sunday. According to state radio, some people died when their homes collapsed in the town of Ambalavao, about 460 km south of the capital Antananarivo.

“I saw only devastated trees, fallen utility poles, wind-torn roofs, and a completely submerged city,” Nirina Lahaingosoa, a resident of Fianarantsoa, ​​420 km south of the capital, told Reuters. Said.

On February 6, 2022, a car stopped in front of a flooded area on a road in Bohiparala, Madagascar, after the Cyclone Bassilai landed. The photo was taken with a drone. (Christophe Van Der Perre TPX Images of the Day / Reuters)

He said electricity was knocked out in the town as utility poles collapsed in a gust of wind that blew all night on Sunday morning.

Willy Laharijaona, technical adviser to Senate Vice President Madagascar, said parts of the southeastern part were cut off from the surrounding area by floods.

“It’s as if it was bombed. The city of Noshibarika is almost 95 percent destroyed,” he said. “Solid houses saw the wind tearing the roof. Most of the wooden huts were destroyed.”

Another resident, named Lahari Jaona, told Reuters that even schools and churches that were preparing to protect displaced persons around Mananjari in the southeast had their roofs removed.

In the central part of Automagiara, villagers scraped mud from the road to remove the damage caused by the landslide caused by Bazzilai.

Cyclone Anna, which struck an island nation in the Indian Ocean on January 22, killed at least 55 people in landslides and collapsed buildings, causing widespread flooding.

After devastating Madagascar, Anna moved west, landed in Mozambique and continued inland in Malawi. A total of 88 people died.

By Lovasoa Rabary