10 dead as cyclone lashes Madagascar

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IOL news dec29 cyclone Reuters File photo.

 Antananarivo - Tropical cyclone Haruna and rains that lashed the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar killed 10 people and affected nearly 3 000 this week, the disaster management agency said Saturday.

The cyclone struck on Friday morning in the southwest region and left the island 24 hours later, having claimed six lives and hurt 17, it said. Four other people were killed in torrential rain earlier in the week.

Heavy rains had pounded the island before strong gusts of wind reaching speeds of 200 kmh (125 mph).

The cyclone destroyed around 70 percent of the southwestern city of Morombe, chief ot the National Bureau of Risk and Catastrophe Management, Raymond Randriatahina, told AFP.

The category 2 cyclone was downgraded to a tropical storm after dissipating at sea at 0230 GMT on Saturday.

“This tropical disturbance is expected to bring a lot of rain in southern Madagascar in the coming two days,” a meteorologist, Ndinizara Newsman de Priscofe, said.

About 30 towns in the south of the country had been under threat of violent storms, but only Morombe was severely affected. - Sapa-AFP



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