At Least 14 Killed in Madagascar Floods

In a statement made earlier today, Madagascar‘s disaster management agency, the Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC) said that at least 14 people have died in floods in the capital, Antananarivo, since yesterday, 26 February 2015.

The floods came after a night of torrential rainfall. WMO report that 75 mm of rain fell in Antananarivo in 24 hours between 26 and 27 February.

The heavy rain caused three rivers in the area to overflow and several dams to break. BNGRC’s statement called for vigilance. They said that relief and evacuations are ongoing and encouraged people to remain vigilant to the various risks of landslides, building collapse and rising flood water.

Levels of the Ikopa river rose by 70cm in 24 hours in Anosizato. River levels stand at 4.67m at Bevomanga – already 17cm above flood stage.

Illegal Building Blamed

BNGRC say that at least 50 homes have been destroyed. In a radio interview with Radio Antsiva, the President Hery Rajaonarimampianina said that the building of illegal houses that don’t meet construction standards contributed to the events.

16,000 Displaced

The flooding has displaced around 16,000 people so far. Emergency services have been carrying out evacuations, including by boat. However, it appears that the emergency services are struggling to house the displaced. BNGRC said, “Due to the emergency, we call on all schools, churches, town halls, covered gymnasiums and those of good will to facilitate the sheltering of victims.”

Rainfall Figures

Heavy rain has also affected other parts of the country. WMO rainfall figures below are for a 24 hour period between 26 and 27 February 2015.

Sambava – 55 mm
Sainte-Marie Aerodrome – 54 mm
Tamatave – 55 mm
Antananarivo – 75 mm