22 February 2008 The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has begun distributing blankets, sanitation kits and other emergency supplies to families in affected areas of northern Madagascar after Cyclone Ivan battered the country this week, leaving at least 22 people dead and thousands either homeless or needing aid.
Six administrative regions of Madagascar were hit by the cyclone, whose winds reached up to 190 kilometres per hour when it struck on Sunday, according to a press statement issued yesterday by UNICEF.
The agency is helping authorities in the affected areas assess the extent of damage, a task hampered by the cuts to communication networks, roads and bridges.
The north-eastern seaside city of Toamasina has been particularly hard hit, with water and electricity supplies severed and rising flood waters as a result of the accompanying heavy rainfall.
Cyclone Ivan’s trail of destruction comes less than a month after Cyclone Fame struck Madagascar, killing 12 and leaving 5,000 Malagasy homeless.
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