Nearly 40 people have lost their lives and 180 others sustained injuries since a powerful cyclone battered the island nation of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean mid-last week.
The national disaster management office in Madagascar (BNGC) made the announcement on Friday, saying that 38 people had been killed countrywide by tropical cyclone Enawo and an estimated 53,000 people displaced by storm waters.
More than 32,000 people have been affected in the capital city of Antananarivo alone, the agency said in an emailed statement.
“The damage is enormous wherever the cyclone has gone,” said Thierry Venty, the executive secretary of the BNGC agency, without providing further details on overall damage and casualties.
The BNGC agency had issued an earlier toll of four deaths and 10,000 displaced people as Enawo made landfall in Madagascar’s northeastern coast at a speed of 290 kilometers per hour on Tuesday morning, destroying roads and cutting off communications with Antalaha district, which has a population of 230,000 people.
Images and videos in the social media showed trees flattened and roofs ripped apart; however, no clear estimate about the damage was proffered by government officials.
Deploying 500 volunteers to help in the area, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said up to 700,000 people could be affected by the cyclone, which was the most powerful to strike the island since 2012.
More than 100 Madagascans were killed five years ago when tropical storm Irina and tropical cyclone Giovanna hit the land. Madagascar has been grappling with severe drought and food shortages since 2015, although storms mostly affect the more affluent northern regions.