Heavy rains kill 10 in Madagascar, displaces 12000

Heavy downpour leaves 10 dead in Madagascar, displaces 1200 [Image: courtesy]
Madagascar— At least 10 people have been killed by heavy downpours in Antananarivo Madagascar and 12000 are left homeless owing to flooding in the country’s capital.

Weather officials warned of potential landslides in the capital city, which is built on steep hills, with the rains continuing.

The country’s head of state, Andry Rajoelina has called an emergency meeting over the flooding crisis. This is according to an announcement made by his office.

Hitherto, statistics from the red cross indicate that at least 2,400 residences in the capital are flooded and low-lying areas of the city are in deep water.

Six houses in higher parts of the city have collapsed because of the rains.

Schools, churches, and gymnasiums in the city are being used to house displaced families and others are sheltering in schools and local government offices.

“We are appealing to the inhabitants of Antananarivo and the surrounding municipalities to leave areas at high risk of landslides, places where trees are at risk of falling and houses are at risk of collapsing,” Gen. Elack Andriankaja , director-general of the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, said.

“According to meteorology forecasts, there is a high risk of a cyclone in the Indian Ocean by the end of this week,” he added.

Reports tell that the rains have reached the extreme south of Madagascar, which had been parched by a severe drought, say residents of Ambovombe, 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of the capital.

“This rain relieves a lot of farmers. Everyone is in the fields right now to work the land,” Mosa Tovontsoa, ​​46, a farmer on the outskirts of Ambovombe.

“It gives us hope because everything has turned green all of a sudden and the zebus (cattle) can go to feed in the meadows,” he said. ”But we don’t have enough seeds because many people ate them during the dry period.”