Cyclone pounds Madagascar with torrential winds and rain

An estimated 45,000 people have been displaced by the tropical storm, the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management said on Sunday.

Published: 06th February 2022 07:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2022 07:05 PM   |  A+A-

A man weighs down the roof of his home with bricks to stop it from flying away during bad weather in Antananarivo, Madagascar.(Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

ANTANANARIVO: Cyclone Batsirai's torrential winds and rain are hammering Madagascar, after landing on the island's east coast late Saturday.

An estimated 45,000 people have been displaced by the tropical storm, the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management said on Sunday.

After gaining strength in the Indian Ocean with gale-force winds reaching peaks of 145 miles per hour, the cyclone made landfall near Mananjary, according to the island’s meteorology department.

Now that Batsirai, which means help in the Shona language, is on land its winds have slowed to about 80 miles per hour.

Residents of Mananjary the nearby towns of Manakara and Nosy Varika report that the cyclone has caused widespread damage by blowing the roofs off homes, knocking down trees and utility poles, making roads impassable and flooding many areas.

Much of Madagascar is already waterlogged from tropical storm Ana and heavy rains in January and the new cyclone is adding to the damage.

Batsirai is classified as a dangerous storm and is expected to inflict “significant and widespread damage, particularly flooding in the east, the southeast and the central highlands,” said the meteorology department in a statement.

Further inland, Antananarivo, the capital, experienced rains ahead of the cyclone and residents put sandbags on their roofs to protect against the winds.

Anticipating widespread destruction, most land and sea transport has been suspended on Madagascar, the world’s fourth-largest island.

“Almost all regions of the island are at risk,” the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management said, warning that the cyclone threatens nearly 600,000 of the island’s 28 million people.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp