11 dead, thousands affected as Cyclone Gamane hits Madagascar | Weather News

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Houses were washed away and roads damaged after the cyclone hit the northern Indian Ocean island.

At least 11 people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed when Cyclone Gamane hit northern Madagascar, according to officials.

The cyclone was expected to hit the Indian Ocean island, but it changed direction and hit the island’s Vohemar region early Wednesday morning.

Video footage showed rivers of water flowing through villages and people tying themselves in human chains in waist-deep water as they tried to help those trapped in their homes to escape the floodwaters. Many roads and bridges were flooded and cut off.

Six people have drowned and another five have died from falling houses or falling trees, and about 7,000 people have been affected.

“It’s rare to see a storm like this. Its movement has almost stopped,” said General Elack Andriakaja, head of the BNGRC disaster management office.

“When the system stops in one place, it destroys all the equipment. And that has dangerous consequences for people. And a big flood”, he said.

The extent of the damage is still unknown, as many villages in the region have been cut off across the country, making it difficult for rescue teams to find them.

The typhoon swept across the island with sustained winds of 150km/h (93mph) and heavy rain. In some areas, winds of 210km/h (130mph) were measured.

Gamane has been reclassified as a typhoon and is expected to leave the island by Friday afternoon, according to forecasters.

Located near the southeast coast of Africa, Madagascar is often affected by severe weather. A year ago, hot Cyclone Freddy they destroyed the country and the neighboring countries of Mozambique and Malawi. More than 500 people lost their lives.

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