Madagascar declares national disaster after cyclone tears through parts of island

Wednesday March 15 2017

Malagasy firefighters in tropical Cyclone Enawo in Antananarivo on March 8, 2017. PHOTO | RIJASOLO | AFP

Malagasy firefighters in tropical Cyclone Enawo in Antananarivo on March 8, 2017. PHOTO | RIJASOLO | AFP 

By RIVONALA RAZAFISON
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Madagascar has declared a national disaster after a cyclone tore through the northern and eastern parts of the Indian Ocean island last week, leaving 78 dead and destroying thousands of homes.

According to the country’s National Bureau for Risks and Hazards Preparedness, Cyclone Enawo has affected more than 390,000 people with 246,987 left homeless, 18 missing and 250 injured.

President Hery Rajaonarimampianina has asked for support from the international community.

The Malagasy leader has been visiting the storm-hit areas to offer condolences and show support.

He said the government will release a document that will highlight the issues in need of urgent relief.

Meanwhile, a cargo flight carrying 100 tonnes of humanitarian supplies from the United Arab Emirates arrived in the capital Antananarivo on Monday night. The aid includes medicine, food, and shelter kits which will be handed to the Malagasy government by the United Nations. Madagascar, a nation of an estimated 23 million people, has been hit by 46 natural disasters over the last 35 years.