Dozens dead in tropical storm Ana in southern Africa | Weather News


At least 70 people have been killed in a storm that hit Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi, and authorities are scrambling to repair the damage.

The death toll from a storm that hit three southern African countries rose to 70 on Thursday as emergency teams battled to repair damaged infrastructure and help tens of thousands of victims.

Packing torrential rains, Tropical Storm Ana made landfall in Madagascar on Monday before rolling into Mozambique and Malawi.

Rescuers and authorities from the three countries were still assessing the extent of the damage.

Madagascar has reported 41 deaths, including 18 others killed in Mozambique and 11 in Malawi.

People walk on a flood-swept road in Chikwawa, Malawi [AP Photo]

The remnants of the storm passed over Zimbabwe, but no fatalities were reported there.

In the three most affected countries, tens of thousands of homes have been damaged. Some collapsed in the heavy rains, trapping the victims in the rubble.

Bridges were washed away by flooding rivers, while livestock drowned and submerged fields, destroying the livelihoods of rural families.

In Madagascar, 110,000 have had to flee their homes. In the capital Antananarivo, schools and gymnasiums have been turned into emergency shelters.

“We only brought our most important belongings,” Berthine Razafiarisoa, who took refuge in a gymnasium with her family of 10, told the AFP news agency.

In northern and central Mozambique, Ana destroyed 10,000 homes, dozens of schools and hospitals, and downed power lines.

Malawi storm ana
Children use a mosquito net to catch fish near a wreck swept away by Tropical Storm Ana on the flooded Shire River, an outlet of Lake Malawi in the village of Thabwa, Chikwawa District, southern Malawi [Reuters]

Mozambique’s meteorological service expects another storm to form over the Indian Ocean in the coming days. Up to six tropical cyclones are expected before the end of the rainy season in March.

In neighboring Malawi, the government has declared a state of natural disaster.

Most of the country lost power earlier this week after floodwaters hit power stations. Power was restored to parts of the country on Thursday, but parts of the power grid were destroyed.

“Our priority now is to restore electricity to health facilities, water treatment distribution systems and schools,” the national electricity company said in a statement.

Southern Africa, and in particular Mozambique, has suffered repeated destructive storms in recent years.


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