Cyclone Ivan kills 11 in Madagascar

February 19th, 2008 - 11:39 pm ICT by admin  

Antananarivo (Madagascar), Feb 19 (DPA) Tropical cyclone Ivan had been downgraded to a tropical storm by Tuesday as it headed for flood-ravaged Mozambique after killing 11 people on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, where it reportedly flattened a hotel. The tourist paradise of Sainte Marie island off Madagascar was the worst-hit area as the cyclone, dubbed Ivan the Terrible by local media, slammed into the east coast at wind speeds of more than 230 km per hour, the Tribune de Madagascar reported.

Nine people were killed on Sainte Marie and 90 percent of the island’s infrastructure was destroyed, including a hotel, which collapsed in the storm, the paper reported.

A further two deaths were reported in Fenerive Est district, also in the east part of the impoverished island, the world’s fourth largest.

All flights to the island were suspended during the storm and several areas were without electricity.

Ivan was expected to hit central Mozambique Tuesday or Wednesday where accompanying rains could exacerbate the heaviest flooding in the flood-prone country in many years caused by torrential seasonal rains.

Around 100,000 people have already been evacuated to higher ground from four main river valleys in the former Portuguese colony.

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