Madagascar: Over 52,000 people affected by Cyclone Enawo

  • Emergency
  • Madagascar

Cyclone Enawo has passed through Madagascar and will end its course in the Anosy region (south-east). The authorities have reported severe damage caused not only by the cyclone itself but by the subsequent flooding it has caused. The national office of risk and disaster management is reporting 10,000 displaced persons and 52,000 people affected. Handicap International's teams have started to assess the population's needs.

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 Archive photo of Cyclone Haruna (February 2013)
 Archive photo of Cyclone Haruna (February 2013)
Archive photo of Cyclone Haruna (February 2013)

The worst damage has occurred in the north-east of the country, where the cyclone made landfall: according to the national office of risk and disaster management, 10,000 people have been displaced and 52,000 affected.

In Antahala, nearly 80% of homes are believed to have been destroyed, as well as 100% of crops. According to the Red Cross, across the whole country a total of 700,000 people may be affected by the cyclone.

It is impossible to obtain a full picture of the situation due to the power outages and the difficulties accessing the affected areas in the north of the country:

"Many areas in Madagascar are hemmed in and difficult to access, even in normal circumstances. In the wake of the cyclone, it is no longer possible to reach the north of the country and the lines of communication have been cut off by the flooding," reports Pilar Duat Llorens, Handicap International's Field Programme Director in Madagascar. "This is precisely the region where the cyclone has no doubt caused the most damage."

Handicap International’s team in the country are trained in emergency response and are currently working to assess the needs of the population in the accessible areas, notably in the capital Antananarivo.

"We have contingency stocks ready to deploy to distribute cooking kits, tarpaulins, crutches and wheelchairs... to help those who have lost everything cope with the situation," explains Xavier Duvauchelle, Desk Officer for East and South Africa.

Cyclone Enawo, which hit Madagascar last Tuesday, has reduced in intensity and has been downgraded to a tropical storm with winds of around 65 kmph. It is about to run its course in the south of the country.

However, the rainfall is still very heavy. Severe flooding has affected the capital city, Antananarivo, where there are fears that the most deprived neighbourhoods will struggle to cope with this most recent disaster, which follows on from the flooding in 2015 which affected tens of thousands of people.

Published 10/03/17

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