Persistent heavy rains since the start of January 2020 has triggered floods and landslides in several areas of Madagascar, leading to at least six fatalities and widespread damage. The severe weather is forecast to continue agonizing parts of the country as more warnings were issued for torrential rain, rough seas, and strong winds.
Flooding was reported in the port city of Mahajanga or Majunga, north coast of Madagascar in the Boeny region, between January 7 to 8. Roughly 1 515 people were evacuated and taken to various shelters around the city.
Meanwhile, capital city Antananarivo suffered severe damage from a heavy downpour on January 8, according to the country's disaster agency BNGRC.
More than 40 houses sustained partial or total damage, affecting almost 400 people and leaving 136 displaced. Buildings were destroyed, including the University of Antananarivo. Moreover, four fatalities were reported due to flash floods and landslides in parts of the city.
Two more people died after being washed away by floodwaters in Andapa, northern Sava Region, in the same period. About 60 people were rescued from the inundation.
Over the past few days, more rains have fallen in the country, with several areas-- including Antsohihy, Mananjary, and Besalampy-- recording over 120 mm (4.7 inches) of rain in a 24-hour period to January 21.
As of January 21, more flooding hit Mahajanga while the Sambirano river in the Diana region saw a rapid increase in water levels. Red warnings for heavy rain were issued for areas in northwestern Madagascar, while red warnings for strong winds and high waves were in place for the country's coastal western area.
Furthermore, forecasts said rain will continue to affect most of Madagascar over Thursday, January 23.
Featured image credit: BNGRC