Scale of Madagascan cyclone disaster emerges

Friday 09th Mar 2012 by theWeather Club

Image: NASA

The scale of the devastation that Cyclone Irina has wrought on Madagascar is beginning to emerge nine days after the storm struck the Island state. The main storm struck on 26th February, but it spawned a series of smaller storms which drenched the Indian Ocean island over the following week.

At least 65 people are known to have been killed and 70,000 left homeless by the flooding that followed. The official report into the impact of Cyclone Irina said the south-eastern Ifanadiana district had been worst hit. Situated 400 km southeast of the nation's capital Antananarivo, the district suffered extensively from landslides and flooding during and after Irina. The main road leading to the area was blocked for several days only re-opening on Wednesday 7th March. Despite this aid teams had managed to reach the area, and have been delivering vital emergency supplies and medicines those affected by the disaster.

The storm struck only two weeks after Cyclone Giovanna, which killed 35 and left 240,000 homeless. The arrival of Irina means that more than 300,000 people on the island have been made homeless as a result of the two devastating cyclones. Madagascar's storm season normally runs from November to February and costs dozens of lives every year. Having left Madagascar, Irina also went on to batter the coasts of South Africa and Mozambique, but the damage in these countries was not so extensive.