Madagascar cyclone death toll hits 36; Thousands displaced

The cyclone that slammed into last week has claimed a total of 36 lives, with 20,000 people displaced by flooding, heavy rain and high winds, authorities said Wednesday.

Ava made landfall on Friday, lashing the eastern part of the African island until Saturday night, with many rivers overflowing, roads cut off and bridges submerged.

Seventeen people died after a house crumbled following a mudslide in the Ivory suburb southeast of the capital Antananarivo.

“On a , the provisional toll is 36 dead, 25 missing and 20,462 displaced persons,” the said in a statement.

It added that 28 health facilities had been damaged or destroyed, along with many homes and crops flooded.

The cyclone caused flash flooding in Antananarivo, the port city of Toamasina and in the eastern town of Tamatave.

, including rice, were being delivered to those affected, with some displaced people starting to return home, officials said.

Madagascar, one of the world’s poorest countries, is regularly hit by cyclones. In March last year, cyclone Enawo killed at least 78 people. (AFP) Photo by Dydy Design