Thousands of Malagasies have been displaced by the cyclone Enawo, with about 5 people dead– a likely to rise death toll.
The cyclone grossly affected residents in the capital, Antananarivo as they had to be evacuated from the city. Some were taken to the stadium for safety.
The national disaster management office (BNGC) reported that there were “10 288 displaced persons in the impacted districts, 12 321 people affected, seven wounded and five deaths”.
Schools in the city have been closed down to prevent the disaster from affecting students. The Prime Minister, Olivier Mahafaly told employers to allow workers to stay at home.
As cyclone Enawo continued to hit, causing the rivers to overflow, the Red Cross society warned of a pending widespread flooding disaster.
Diana, Sofia, Savan Analanjirofo, Atsinanana, Alaotra Mangoro, Boeny, Betsinoka, and Ny Faritanin’ Antananarivo are the most severely-affected areas according to the national meteorological authority.
However, the BNGC also reported that cyclone Enawo has weakened. The wind speeds are said to be falling to 65km per hour. At its most severe point the storm’s speed was as high as 290km per hour.
Cyclone Enawo hit the Indian ocean island on 8 March. Since then it has wrecked havoc in schools, hospitals, destroying infrastructures, blocking roads, and leaving many wounded, dead and displaced.
According to AP, there are fears that vanilla crops which are grown in north-eastern Madagascar (where much of the world’s vanilla comes from) have been destroyed by the storm.
Prior to the deadly storm, Madagascar was suffering severe drought and food shortages, which has been the case since 2015. The drought was further heightened by the El Nino phenomenon which pushed most of southern Africa into a spate of hunger. According to the World Food Programme, this has led to a decrease in the GDP of Madagascar which is reliant on agriculture.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team has deployed to support coordination and information management.
Featured image: NASA