Madagascar: A Week After Cyclone Gamane, Damage Assessment Emerges

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

Nineteen fatalities, three missing persons, and 90,000 displaced, this is the latest updated report released by the Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management, one week after Cyclone Gamane struck the northern tip of Madagascar. Collapsed roads, swept-away bridges, houses buried under torrents of mud, and devastated fields paint a grim picture as the population finds itself isolated from the outside world, or nearly so.

The prices of commodities are beginning to soar, and the livelihoods of residents in these regions, who primarily rely on vanilla cultivation, appear more uncertain than ever.

In the remote village of Amboangibe, located in the Sava region, homes along the banks of the Bemarivo River did not withstand the force of the floodwaters.

Solofo Rakotomanana, a language teacher, describes an unprecedented situation. “Last Wednesday, the water rose severely, for the first time in almost 60 years, reaching a height of over 5 meters, usually unheard of! And today, there are many collapsed houses, washed away by the floods. Since Wednesday afternoon, the electricity has been cut off. Due to the cyclone, the price of a cup of rice has skyrocketed to 7500 francs! The residents need assistance.”

With roads impassable, the price of rice has indeed surged by 60% in these remote rural areas, due to a lack of supplies from the capital. Meanwhile, the fare for motorcycle taxis has already doubled.

The coastal town of Vohemar has borne a heavy toll, with half of the city submerged under a meter of water. Similarly affected are the vanilla plantations surrounding the town.

Emergency repair work to restore connectivity to the region is set to commence on Thursday, April 4th. Priority will be given to repairing the bridges washed away by the floods, aiming to “quickly restore traffic on these routes where no detours are possible,” as announced by the Ministry of Public Works.

Soukaina Sghir

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