120 dead in Madagascar cyclone
Madagascar's death toll from Tropical Cyclone Batsirai rose to 120 Friday, with most fatalities reported from a single district.
The national disaster management agency BNGRC said the majority had died in Ikongo District, near the east coast of the Indian Ocean island, where houses were leveled.
About 125,000 people have been affected after Batsirai swept across the region last weekend, the agency said in an updated fact sheet.
The cyclone hit the Indian Ocean island late on Saturday, slamming the southeastern coastline before receding late on Sunday.
Batsirai was Madagascar’s second destructive storm in two weeks after Tropical Storm Ana killed at least 38 people.
Aid agencies are worried about ensuring clean drinking water and have begun setting up purification systems. Water-borne diseases pose a major health risk after tropical storms.
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. Some 42% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition, even without a natural disaster.
The island nation is suffering from natural disasters instigated by global warming, which has caused some 1.3 million people to go hungry due to droughts that struck the African island.
A drought that has spanned several years has desiccated farmland across the southern part of Madagascar, an African nation renowned for its biodiversity, with no end in sight.
The famine ravaging the tropical African island prompted its Environment Minister to speak up for her homeland at the UN COP26 in Scotland to warn other countries against the repercussions of climate change, as they could 'find themselves suffering a similar fate.