(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Cyclone Bingiza strikes Madagascar

Torrential rainfall caused by Cyclone Bingiza on the northeast coast of Madagascar damaged houses, public
buildings and electrical facilities
ReliefWeb

Cyclone Bingiza, the first major weather system to strike Madagascar this cyclone season, made landfall in the early hours of 14 February near Cap Masoala in the northeastern Sava region of the Indian Ocean island.



The damage caused by the category three cyclone, which had sustained wind speeds of 160 kilometres per hour with gusts of up to 220 kilometres per hour, has yet to be established. The cyclone season extends from October to March, peaking February.



"We expect this to be a Type 2 emergency, with over 100,000 people affected by wind damage and/or flooding, and over 30,000 severely affected," CARE International, an NGO focusing on poverty eradication, said in an emergency alert.



The agency noted that although information was sparse at this stage, "We expect that the scale of this emergency will greatly exceed the response capacity of the Malagasy government's Disaster Risk Management Agency (BNGRC)."



John Uniack Davis, CARE International's country director, told IRIN that "high winds and low clouds" were preventing an immediate assessment of the damage caused by Bingiza.  



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