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The number of casualties caused by Tropical Cyclone “Batsirai” increased to 91, Madagascar

the-number-casualties-caused-by-tropical-cyclone-batsirai-increases-to-21-madagascar

Tropical Cyclone "Batsirai" made landfall just north of the city of Mananjary, Madagascar's Vatovavy region, on February 5, 2022, with wind speeds of 165 km/h (102 mph) and wind gusts of up to 230 km/h (143 mph).

Preliminary information showed the most affected districts are Nosy Varika, Mananjary and Manakara.

The number of casualties across central and southern parts of the country rose from 10 on February 7 to 21 on February 8. 62 096 individuals have been displaced to 154 shelters, and up to 72 275  people have been affected, according to the Office of Risks and Disasters (BNGRC).1

Damage has been reported to infrastructure and buildings, including 211 schools, which has affected more than 9 270 students. 

The cyclone destroyed about 3 000 dwellings and government buildings and flooded 5 700 others in Mananjary and nearby towns, officials said.2

UN OCHA reports that relief efforts are underway and rapid assessments of the disaster have started.

"The first thing the government is doing is to see how to repair and rehabilitate administrative buildings, prioritizing health centers and hospitals," General Elack Andriankaja, director-general of the BNGRC, told The Associated Press.

"Many administrative buildings are completely destroyed in these regions, and in particular in Mananjary," he said.

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Batsirai is now moving away from the country and is expected to dissipate in the days ahead without affecting any land.

This is the second named storm of the 2021/22 Southwest Indian Ocean cyclone season and the second to move over the country within just 2 weeks. 

The passage of Tropical Cyclone "Ana" together with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) caused prolonged heavy rains in the country last month, leaving at least 41 people dead and more than 64 000 affected. 

Ana was still a tropical depression when it moved over Madagascar on January 22, further exacerbating severe floods caused by ITCZ since January 17.

In the capital Antananarivo, this severe rainfall event dumped several months' worth of rain. January is the wettest month in the capital, with 340 mm (13.39 inches) of rain.

Ana made landfall over Mozambique on January 24, 2022, and continued moving west over Malawi while weakening and dissipating, but still dumping very heavy rain.

It's blamed for the deaths of at least 70 people in Mozambique, Malawi and Madagascar.3 At one point, entire Malawi was without power.4

Updates:

As of February 10, the number of fatalities rose to 92. Of those, 71 were reported in Ikongo District (Fitovinany Region, central-eastern Madagascar).

BNGRC also reports nearly 62 000 displaced and more than 112 100 affected people.

Over the next 24 hours, more heavy rainfall is forecast over south-eastern, central and northern Madagascar.

The death toll rose to 111 on February 11 (The Watchers).

References:

1 DG ECHO Flash – February 8, 2022

2 Cyclone Batsirai: At least 20 killed in Madagascar tropical storm – AlJazeera

3 Tropical Cyclone "Ana" leaves at least 70 people dead, Batsirai forms east of Madagascar – The Watchers

4 Most of Malawi without power after floods caused by Tropical Cyclone "Ana" – The Watchers

Featured image credit: Hans Solo

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