Cyclone Giovanna 'has affected 200,000 people' in Madagascar

Transport activities have also suffered in the deadly aftermath of Madagascar's cyclone Giovanna. RIVONALA RAZAFISON | AFRICA REVIEW 

The intense tropical cyclone named Giovanna that hit Madagascar on Monday and Tuesday has affected nearly 200,000 people, the government said.

Around 40,000 people were displaced because of the resulting floods, according to the National Office for Disaster of National Preparedness (BNGRC).

Tents have been installed on safe places to shelter the victims with humanitarian efforts underway.

The category four tropical storm claimed 17 lives, injured 77 with four reported missing.

High winds and heavy rainfall destroyed about 8,475 houses with 4,230 completely crushed. Some 3,930 houses had their roofs torn off, and 315 others filled with water.

Over 100 schools, hospitals, churches, and offices were also damaged.

Landslides, ripped trees, and ruined bridges ruined have made transport almost impossible, especially on the national road serving the capital city Antananarivo and the city port of Toamasina.

Unofficial data say financial losses could be as heavy as, if not more than, 2008 where a cyclone caused damage estimated at $118 million.

This reporter noted further unreported damage in the district of Moramanga, where collapsing houses are said to have claimed six lives.

Disruption of communication networks has also slowed down information transfer in the countryside.

The deterioration of roads in the remote areas could further isolate many localities for several months, while food shortages will also be expected in the affected areas following damage to crops.

In the meantime, foodstuffs, various equipment and essential medicines are being distributed to the most vulnerable.

Residents exposed to water-borne diseases are being supplied with kits to purify contaminated water to prevent disease outbreaks.

The government says it is doing all it can to alleviate suffering.

Prime minister Jean-Omer Beriziky visited eastern Madagascar to console bereaved families and provided supplies.

Former President Marc Ravalomanana, currently exiled in South Africa, has called for international aid.

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