Monday’s tropical cyclone Belna on the north-west of the island of Madagascar killed at least two people and left more than 1,700 people homeless, according to the first assessment announced by local authorities.
The main damage was reported in Soalala, where the breakwater that protected the city from the sea broke, said an official of the National Office of Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC), Colonel Elack Andriakaja.
« There are two deaths after the collapse of the dike. A child and a senior who could not escape, « Andriakaja told the press.
Three other people were missing, according to the officer. Many roofs of Soalala were torn off by the violent winds, measured up to 180 km / h, which accompanied the passage of the cyclone on Monday afternoon. In total, some 1,300 inhabitants of the city had to be displaced.
« The danger is not yet averted concerning the floods, » insisted Colonel Andriakaja. « Tomorrow morning (Wednesday), a boat will be mobilized to bring food, » he added, adding that access to the region remained complicated, both by road and by air.
The authorities had placed in red alert the whole area threatened by cyclone Belna, previously spent off the French island of Mayotte and the archipelago of Comoros.
Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world, is the regular target of cyclones or other tropical storms.
In 2018, Hurricane Ava had killed 51 people and 22 had died in January, and tropical storm Eliakim 20 died and nearly 19,000 people were stricken two months later.