The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over the effects of flooding caused by Cyclone Gloria in Madagascar. He has learned from preliminary reports that 560,000 people are affected, with 10,000 homeless and an additional 12,000 out of reach. The cyclone has caused heavy damage to houses and vital road links. This disaster occurs at a time when a cholera epidemic has taken the lives of over 1,000 people. In response, United Nations agencies on the ground are undertaking further assessments, prepositioning food and non-food items, and providing support in coordinating the relief response. An official appeal for international assistance will shortly be launched.
The Secretary-General trusts that donors will contribute generously in response to this disaster.