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20 Dead in Madagascar After Cyclone Batsirai Passes

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Cyclone Batsiarai left Madagascar, an island off the East African coast, Monday morning. The cyclone spared the island’s largest cities, but elsewhere, according to the latest assessment by authorities, 20 people were killed.

 

UN children’s rights organization UNICEF points out that the floods have destroyed the rice fields in the centre of the island, which could further complicate the humanitarian situation.

More than 55,000 people had to leave their homes due to the cyclone’s arrival, reports the disaster management agency BNGRC.

The cyclone made landfall on the island’s east coast during the night from Saturday to Sunday, with heavy rain and wind gusts up to 165 km/h.

“The impact of the cyclone does not end today; the impact on agriculture will continue for months,” warned Jean Benoit Manhes, UNICEF deputy representative on the island.

A month ago, Madagascar was hit by Tropical Storm Ana, which claimed 55 lives and left tens of thousands homeless.

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