Madagascar Cyclone Death Toll Rises To 38

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Madagascar Cyclone Death Toll Rises To 38

An estimated 1,53,000 people have been displaced by storm waters in Madagascar. AFP photo

Antananarivo, Madagascar:  At least 38 people have been killed by Cyclone Enawo that struck Madagascar this week, according to an official of the country's disaster management department.

"The damage is enormous wherever the cyclone has gone," Thierry Venty, executive secretary of the National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management, said late on Friday on national television.

He said 38 people had been killed countrywide by the cyclone, including a family who died in a landslide, while an estimated 1,53,000 people have been displaced by storm waters.

More than 32,000 people have been affected in the capital city Antananarivo alone, the agency said in a statement.

Enawo hit Madagascar's vanilla-producing northeastern coast on Tuesday morning, destroying roads and cutting off communications with Antalaha district, which has a population of 2,30,000 people.

More than 1,16,000 people have been directly affected by the cyclone, but Venty did not say how many of those were displaced or had their property damaged.

Videos on social media showed flattened trees, flooded roads and corrugated sheeting ripped from roofs after the cyclone struck.

Late on Thursday, the meteorological office said the cyclone's power had "significantly weakened" according to a bulletin from the country's meteorological office, with the storm moving at speeds of 45-50 kph (28-31 miles per hour).

Up to 700,000 people could be affected by the cyclone which was the most powerful to strike the island since 2012, according to the Red Cross.

The group has deployed 500 volunteers to help the 116,191 people who are known to have been affected by the storm.

In 2012, tropical storm Irina and tropical cyclone Giovanna claimed more than 100 lives.

The Indian Ocean island has suffered severe drought and food shortages since 2015, with the southern region the worst affected.

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)

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