Madagascar

Madagascar: Cyclones Emergency Appeal No. MDRMG002 Operations Update no.2

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In Brief

Appeal No. MDRMG002; Operations Update no. 2; Period covered: 29 March to 17 April 2007; Appeal coverage: 21.1%.

Appeal history:

- Preliminary Appeal launched on 22 March 2007 for CHF 773,262 (USD 637,935 or EUR 477,765) for 6 months to assist 32,000 beneficiaries.

- Operations Update no. 1 focused on the assessments conducted by Malagasy Red Cross Society, the Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) and other stakeholders.

- Emergency Appeal launched on 12 April 2007 increased the Appeal budget to CHF 2,005,707 (USD 1,649,430 or EUR 1,238,090) and increased the number of beneficiaries to 60,000.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 185,000.

Outstanding needs: CHF 1,582,152 (USD 1,301,112 or EUR 1,976,637).

Operational Summary: The Field Assessment and Coordination Team, which arrived in Madagascar on 23 March 2007, wound up its task and handed over the operation - which has transitioned from the assessments into the distribution phase - to an operations coordinator who has been deployed by the International Federation. The coordinator will oversee the relief and logistics operations of the Emergency Response Units. The Malagasy Red Cross Society is conducting distribution of rice, beans and cooking oil in Mampikony, Antsohihy and Port Berger districts of Sofia region.

Background

Cyclone Indlala hit the north-eastern coast of the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar on Thursday, 15 March 2007. With strong winds of up to 200 kilometres/hour (km/h), the cyclone ravaged the immediate area in its path (mainly Maroantsetra) and left considerable damage on the northeast and northwest regions. Cyclone Indlala was the fifth cyclone to have hit Madagascar within the past months: Cyclone Bondo made landfall on 25 December 2006; Cyclone Clovis on 3 January 2007; Cyclone Favio on 18 January 2007; and Cyclone Gamede on 26 February 2007. On 3 April 2007, a sixth cyclone (Cyclone Jaya), hit the country, causing further damage and displacement; its wind speed was 150 km/h at the highest peak while Indlala's was 235 km/h. Cyclone Jaya did not make significant impact compared to Indlala because vulnerable groups had lost all their belongings during successive cyclone passages and their related floods. The 'no damage' reported by several organizations was therefore an indicator of the impact made by the precedent cyclones and the vulnerability of the populations living in the repeatedly-affected areas.

This is the first time that Madagascar has been struck by so many cyclones in such a short period. Seasonal rains have been made worse by the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) moving slightly south, resulting in continuous rains - from the end of December 2006 to the present moment - and resultant flooding.

According to an assessment conducted by the Malagasy government, 126,017 people were severely affected and needed immediate assistance. 13,066 houses were completely destroyed, 91 public buildings damaged (including 29 schools), 35 bridges damaged, over 35,000 hectares of rice paddies and 12,006 hectares of other crops destroyed. Reports also indicated significant structural damage in the regions of Sava, Analanjirofo, Diana and Sofia. Infrastructure, including water and electricity systems, was also severely affected.

Cyclone Indlala destroyed houses in the town of Antalaha as well as in the surrounding villages; roofs of poorly built houses were partially destroyed or severely damaged. In addition, 80 percent of coconut and vanilla trees have been damaged. Vulnerable persons, in particular, face difficulties in rebuilding their houses. The Maroantsetra area was the hardest hit, with 60,000 people affected. The flooded area is a productive farming valley; houses, crop fields, schools, a health centre and 1,200 boreholes were flooded. In Diana and Sofia regions, located in the north eastern region, 30 hours of rain resulted in extensive flooding, which displaced at least 9,000 in Ambanja town and left 6,000 persons in Antsohihy in need of assistance.

According to preliminary estimates by humanitarian agencies, immediate needs included safe water and sanitation, health care, targeted food distribution, non-food items (NFI), and basic shelter items. There were fears that stagnant waters in the flood-affected areas could increase the potential for outbreaks of Dengue Fever. The effects of successive heavy rains and floods destroyed the little coping capacities of the communities. A severe food crisis is foreseen in the coming months as 70 to 80 percent of rice crops have been destroyed and access to vulnerable groups is very difficult.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Madagascar: Ratsimbazafy Fanja Nantenaina, Secretary General, Malagasy Red Cross Society, Antananarivo; Email: crm@wanadoo.mg; Phone + 261.20.222.21.11; Fax + 261.20.226.67.39

In Mauritius: Susanna Cunningham, Head of Sub-Regional Office for the Indian Ocean Islands, Mauritius; Email: susanna.cunningham@ifrc.org; Phone + 230.454.69.34; Mobile + 230.252.08.55

In Kenya: Per Jensnäs, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email: per.jensnaes@ifrc.org; Phone +254.20.283.51.24; Fax +254.20.271.84.15 or Youcef Ait-Chellouche, Acting Disaster Management Coordinator, Eastern Africa Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email: youcef.aitchellouche@ifrc.org; Phone +254.20.283.52.11; Fax +254.20.271.27.77

In Geneva: Amna Al Ahmar, Federation Regional Officer for East Africa, Africa Department; Email: amna.alahmar@ifrc.org; Phone + 41.22.730.44.27; Fax + 41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org