Madagascar: Several dead after cyclone “Batsirai”

Status: 06.02.2022 8:30 p.m

The authorities speak of at least ten fatalities in Madagascar. The cyclone “Batsirai” swept over the island on Sunday night and caused severe damage. The full extent of the destruction is not yet foreseeable.

At least ten people have died on the island of Madagascar off Africa’s east coast as a result of tropical cyclone Batsirai, authorities said. “Batsirai” swept in the night of Sunday mainly over the east and south of the island. Numerous houses were destroyed. Power poles and trees snapped. Severe flooding is also feared.

Tropical Storm Batsirai hits Madagascar

tagesschau24 09:00 a.m., 6.2.2022

Around 40,000 islanders had spent the night in emergency shelters in the affected region. Aid organizations fear lasting damage, as the people there are still suffering from the devastating damage of a previous hurricane.

As here in the town of Fianarantsoa, ​​numerous people in Madagascar have spent the night in emergency shelters.


“People urgently need our help”

“Some villages were largely destroyed. But the full extent of the destruction is not yet clear,” reported Gaby Rakotondrabe, Malteser International’s emergency aid worker in Madagascar. The storm is still not over. “Although the wind has weakened, heavy rains are now following. The people of Madagascar urgently need our help,” said Rakotondrabe.

The Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) responded to an international request for help from Madagascar and sent first aid workers. At the request of the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of the Interior issued the assignment to send a five-person advance team, the THW said in a statement. “Our team helps to determine specific needs and to structure the processes,” explained THW President Gerd Friedsam.

Wind speeds up to 235 kilometers per hour

According to the weather service, “Batsirai” had reached the island in the north of the Mananjary region late on Saturday evening with an average wind speed of 165 kilometers per hour – in some cases 235 kilometers per hour were also measured. By Sunday morning, “Batsirai” weakened a bit. The tropical storm came from the island of Mauritius, where at least one person died, according to the UN Emergency Relief Office (OCHA).

Southern Africa is currently in the summer cyclone season which can bring severe storms and precipitation through March or April. Just over a week ago, tropical storm Ana wreaked havoc in Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Many buildings – including schools – and fields were destroyed, many people were made homeless.

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