Cyclone Enawo kills at least 38 people, Madagascar authorities say

The death toll from Cyclone Enawo, which slammed into Madagascar this week, has risen to 38 people from an initial figure of five.

The agency, on Thursday (9 March), had estimated just four deaths with 10,000 people displaced.

He said technicians from the country's disaster management department "are on the ground to evacuate people".

But not before the cyclone destroyed roads and cut off communications to the north-eastern Antalaha district.

Another 116,191 people were displaced or had their property damaged, he said, with 53,172 people taking shelter in centres set up across the country.

Enawo brought heavy rains and winds in excess of 225 kilometers per hour - the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane.

Very little information has come out of those regions, but it is expected that there will be widespread power outages from down trees and extensive flood damage. It has weakened since making landfall and has now been reclassified as a tropical depression which is moving southwards, away from the island which lies 400 kilometres off the coast of Africa.

The Red Cross announced that it had deployed about 500 volunteers to help the victims.

In 2012, tropical storm Irina and tropical cyclone Giovanna claimed more than 100 lives in Madagascar.

The Indian Ocean island has suffered severe drought and food shortages since 2015, with the southern region the worst affected.

  • Carolyn Briggs