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Cyclone Batsirai: 21 killed, thousands displaced

The death toll in Madagascar have risen to 21 after cyclone Batsirai hit the country last Saturday, where more than 60,000 people were displaced, officials reported. Many houses were destroyed and trees were uprooted in Mananjary, one of the towns most affected by the cyclone. More than 60,000 people, whose houses were destroyed or damaged in the country have been staying in shelters, and 8,000 others took shelter either outside or in the houses of their relatives. Residents in the area said that they took shelter in the school designated as an evacuation center, but the roof of the school was blown away by the strong wind and they were left outside.

“The impact was severe and harsh and we are still counting casualties,” said Pasqualina Di Sirio, country director for the United Nations’ World Food Programme in Madagascar. She stated that the destruction of rice crops so close to harvesting had fueled an already dire situation and would be felt for six months. Fruit and vegetable patches had been destroyed as well.

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