Madagascar cyclone death toll rises to 38

ANTANANARIVO: At least 38 people have been killed by Cyclone Enawo that struck Madagascar this week, according to an official of the country's disaster management department.

"The damage is enormous wherever the cyclone has gone," Thierry Venty, executive secretary of the National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management, said late on Friday on national television.

He said 38 people had been killed countrywide by the cyclone, including a family who died in a landslide, while an estimated 153,000 people have been displaced by storm waters.

Enawo hit Madagascar's vanilla-producing northeastern coast on Tuesday morning, destroying roads and cutting off communications with Antalaha district, which has a population of 230,000 people.

More than 116,000 people have been directly affected by the cyclone, but Venty did not say how many of those were displaced or had their property damaged.

Late on Thursday, the meteorological office said the cyclone's power had "significantly weakened" according to a bulletin from the country's meteorological office, with the storm moving at speeds of 45-50 kph (28-31 miles per hour).