Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Flooding in Madagascar capital kills at least 14

Terra Daily via AFP: At least 14 people died in flooding Friday in the Madagascan capital Antananarivo after a night of torrential rain caused dams to burst, rescue services said.

About 24,000 people were driven from their homes in the floods and several neighbourhoods in the Indian Ocean island nation were being evacuated, the country's emergency management bureau said.

"Due to the emergency, we call on all schools, churches, town halls, covered gymnasiums and those of goodwill to facilitate the sheltering of victims," a statement from the bureau said. Prime Minister Jean Ravelonarivo visited the affected areas early Friday.

Three rivers flow in the area of the capital. A number of dams gave way under the weight of the floodwaters, sweeping away around 50 houses, the statement said. Electricity was also cut to parts of the capital....

In northwestern Madagascar, the Betsiboka River flows toward the coast, its braided streams emptying into the Bombetoka Bay. In late March 2010, however, not long after Tropical Cyclone Hubert passed through the region, part of the river pushed over its banks, flooding nearby agricultural fields. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this natural-color image on March 23, 2010. Immediately south of the Betsiboka River, which is visible in the large image, this area is roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the coast. The wide beige-and-green swath filling most of the image is flooded, and uneven rectangles demarcate individual fields. Only areas of relatively high ground appear to have escaped standing water.

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