Institution: Malagasy Red Cross Society

Indian Ocean’s growing vulnerability to natural disasters calls for more investment in preparedness

Thousands of lives in the Union of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles remain at risk due to the region’s increasing vulnerability to natural disasters, including cyclones, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. This, combined with the fact that global humanitarian funding is dwindling, is further evidence of the need to invest in preparedness and in local humanitarian capacity.

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Thousands in urgent need of assistance in cyclone-hit Madagascar; Red Cross launches emergency appeal

Nairobi, 13 March 2017 — Tens of thousands of people are displaced in Madagascar and need urgent humanitarian assistance after powerful Cyclone Enawo battered the island with torrential rain and wind, destroying homes and flooding farms and communities. Officials from the country’s disaster management agency estimate dozens of deaths, nearly 200 injuries, over 84,500 people displaced from their homes, and nearly 300,000 people in 58 districts affected by the storm, which made landfall on 7 March 2017. Damage, landslides and widespread flooding hampered access to some of the worst hit areas, but assessments are underway and aid is gradually reaching people in need. “The scale of the damage is massive, particularly in the northeast, and thousands are in urgent need of shelter, food, medical care, clean water and other essential relief services,” says Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Regional Director for Africa. The Malagasy Red Cross Society has mobilized 24 disaster response teams as well as 890 volunteers, many of whom were dispatched to communities ahead of the storm to provide early warning messages and safety tips. Since the storm, the volunteers have been providing first aid, medical consultations and psychosocial support to displaced families in evacuation centres. “Many people whose homes have been flooded or destroyed are staying with relatives in more secure areas, while thousands more displaced people...

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Red Cross on high alert as destructive Tropical Cyclone Enawo makes landfall in Madagascar

Antananarivo/Geneva, 7 March 2017 – Red Cross national and international disaster response teams are readying response plans as Tropical Cyclone Enawo makes landfall in north-east Madagascar. Enawo struck near the city of Antalaha this morning local time as a Category 4 Tropical Cyclone, making it the strongest storm to hit the country since Tropical Cyclone Giovanna in February 2012, and comparable to Tropical Cyclone Ivan in 2008 which killed nearly 100 people and displaced 190,000. The north east of the country had already suffered two days of heavy rains before the cyclone made landfall, forcing the evacuation of some communities. In advance of the storm, the Malagasy Red Cross Society activated National Disaster Response Team and deployed more than 500 volunteers in and around Antalaha to warn communities and to help them prepare. The Red Cross will be able to immediately draw on pre-positioned emergency supplies for 500 families in the north-east, along with shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene kits for 1,600 families in the capital Antananarivo. “Tropical Cyclones are not unusual for Madagascar at this time of year. However, the severity of Enawo is troubling. If it maintains its strength and performs as predicted, there could be significant wind damage across the island, and we could be facing serious floods and landslides,” said Getachew Taa’, the Head of the Country Cluster Support Team for East Africa for...

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About the IFRC

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world's largest humanitarian network and is guided by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity.