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Cyclone kills ten, displaces tens of thousands in Madagascar

  Cyclone Batsirai killed at least ten people and displaced nearly 48,000 when it struck Madagascar overnight, the national disaster managem...

 


Cyclone Batsirai killed at least ten people and displaced nearly 48,000 when it struck Madagascar overnight, the national disaster management agency said on Sunday.

Cyclone Batsirai later weakened but not before wreaking havoc in the poor Indian Ocean island nation which is still reeling from a deadly tropical storm earlier this year.

Parts of the country were lashed with heavy rains and wind before the cyclone made landfall in Mananjary.

It uprooted trees, destroyed buildings and forced residents to weigh down flimsy corrugated iron roofs along its path, AFP correspondents saw.

The rain will cause flooding across parts of the country, Madagascar's meteorological office said on Sunday.

Batsirai made landfall in Mananjary on Saturday night as an "intense tropical cyclone", packing winds of 165 kilometres per hour, Faly Aritiana Fabien of the country's disaster management agency told AFP.

His colleague responsible for risk management in the same agency, Paolo Emilio Raholinarivo, listed 10 dead, but gave no further details.

However, the national meteorological office - which had warned of "significant and widespread damage" - said on Sunday that Batsirai, Shona word for help others, "has weakened".

The cyclone's average wind speed had almost halved to 80 kilometres per hour, while the strongest gusts had scaled back to 110 km/h from the 235 km/h recorded when it made landfall, Meteo Madagascar said.

with information from rte.ie

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