31 killed in Madagascar torrential rains
Published: 12:47 PM, 26 January 2020
At least 31 people have died after a week of heavy rains in the northwest region of Madagascar, officials said. Nearly 107,000 people have been displaced due to the bad weather.
Country's national disaster management office on Saturday said that 15 others remained missing on the popular tourist island in the Indian Ocean, as flooding intensified in the districts of Mitsinjo and Maevatanana. Nearly 107,000 people have been displaced due to the bad weather.
Prime Minister Christian Ntsay declaring the situation a "national disaster".
Strips of road were swept away by the rains and access to affected areas has been cut off. Torrential rains also made important roads impassable, while a dam near the town of Tanambe burst, flooding surrounding villages and farmland.
The National Bureau of Disaster Risk Management (BNGRC) warned that flooding in lowland and rice-growing areas also posed a risk of "food insecurity and malnutrition". A disruption in the supply of basic goods could also lead to a surge in prices, BNGRC added.
"The government is calling on national figures and international partners to help the Malagasy people with emergency aid, early recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction," spokeswoman Lalatiana Andriatongarivo said in a statement.
The tropical Indian Ocean nation, approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa, is in the midst of an intense six-month rainy season that often results in casualties and widespread damage.
The rainy season usually stretches from October to April in the former French colony off Africa's southeastern coast.
Global warming has increased the risk and intensity of flooding, as the atmosphere holds more water and rainfall patterns are disrupted.