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At least 29 killed, 22 missing as Cyclone 'Ava' hits Madagascar | Coastweek

ANTANANARIVO Madagascar (Xinhua) -- A lone vehicle drives through fallen branches caused by tropical cyclone 'Ava' in Tamatave, Madagascar. Tropical cyclone 'Ava' landed in Toamasina, northeast Madagascar, on Friday around 01:00 p.m. local time (04:00 GMT), the country’s meteorological service said. XINHUA PHOTO - CHEN JIANJIANG

At least 29 killed, 22 missing after cyclone 'Ava' hits Madagascar

ANTANANARIVO Madagascar (Xinhua) -- Twenty nine people were killed by cyclone 'Ava' that hit Madagascar from Friday to Sunday, the Madagascar government said Monday.

The National Office of Risks and Disasters Management (BNGRC) said in its provisional report that 22 people are still missing, while 17,170 have been displaced.

Five national roads were cut while 17 health centers were destroyed.

BNGRC said in the report that 3,191 hectares of rice fields are totally flooded in the capital Madagascar.

The cyclone hit the eastern part of Madagascar on Friday and left the country on Sunday by continuing its trajectory to the southeast off the country with an average speed of 15 km per hour.


Red Cross deploys disaster response teams in Madagascar for Cyclone 'Ava'

GENEVA Switzerland (Xinhua) -- The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) said Thursday that disaster response teams are readying response plans in anticipation of the landfall of Tropical Cyclone 'Ava'.

The IFRC said in a statement that in the event of a disaster, the Red Cross will be able to immediately draw on pre-positioned emergency supplies for 500 families, and plans are under way to top up these stocks with additional relief supplies.

The Geneva-based IFRC quoted Izaka Harizaka, acting Secretary General, Malagasy Red Cross as saying:

"Right now, our major concern is flooding as a result of the expected heavy rains.

"We’ve activated our national disaster response team, and Red Cross volunteers in all the districts are on high alert," he said.

Madagascar is regularly hit by cyclones, said the IFRC.

In March 2017, Tropical Cyclone Enawo hit the island and claimed dozen of lives, displacing tens of thousands of people.

It was the strongest storm to hit the island nation in more than a decade.

In response, the Malagasy Red Cross mobilized 24 disaster response teams alongside nearly 900 volunteers, said the IFRC.

Heavy rainfall kills at least 14 in Mozambique

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- At least 14 people were killed by heavy rain that has battered Mozambique since the rainy season began in last October, Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) said Wednesday.

"The major cause of the deaths was lightning, which killed 11 people, strong wings killed 2 and drowning killed one," Paulo Tomas, INGC’s spokesperson, said at a press briefing.

He said these are only preliminary data as updates continue to trickle in from various parts of the southern African country.

Since the start of the rainy season, more than 25,000 people were affected and some 5,000 houses were destroyed, according to him.

Tomas said in the last few days, heavy rains pounded most part of the country, with a higher incidence in the northern and central provinces, with precipitation of 50-200 millimeters.

In the capital city Maputo, traffic on the Ressano Garcia rail line linking Mozambique and South Africa was cut off after the heavy rainfall destroyed the railway last Monday.

Several neighbourhoods in the city were hit by power outages following faults in electricity substations.


Downpour leaves 2,500 homeless in central Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- At least 2,500 people were left homeless after heavy rain destroyed 106 houses in Tanzania’s central region of Dodoma, an official said on Thursday.

Simon Odunga, Chemba District Commissioner in Dodoma Region, said the heavy rain that started on Tuesday through Thursday have mostly affected three villages of Mrijo Chini, Kaloleni and Olborot.

"Most of the houses in these villages have been destroyed, leaving over 2,500 people homeless," Odunga told a news conference in Chemba district.

"We have closed three schools because they are submerged with rain water.

"They are not safe for pupils," said the district leader.

Odunga said most of the victims were being sheltered by relatives and friends, with some accommodated in special camps.

He said the victims, including children and women, were in dire need of humanitarian assistance, including medicines, mattresses as well as food.

Odunga said Chemba district authorities have relief supplies that could last for only one month.

"Our main concern is that the rains will continue pounding these areas and we may run short of the capacity to serve the victims," Odunga said, calling for assistance.

Odunga said preliminary evaluation showed that the floods have also killed livestock and destroyed other property.

The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) in October 2017 issued an alert over the seasonal heavy rains that began in November, saying they might lead to floods and outbreak of water-borne diseases in some parts of the country.

At least 29 killed, 22 missing as Cyclone 'Ava' hits Madagascar | Coastweek

ANTANANARIVO Madagascar (Xinhua) -- Flattened coconut palm trees damaged by tropical cyclone 'Ava' in Tamatave, Madagascar. Twenty nine people were killed by cyclone 'Ava' that hit Madagascar from Friday to Sunday, the Madagascar government said Monday. XINHUA PHOTOS - CHEN JIANJIANG



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