Madagascar

Southern Africa: Cyclone Season Flash Update No. 5 (Tropical Cyclone Batsirai) (10 February 2022)

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • At least 92 people have died and nearly 61,500 people remain displaced, according to the latest update received from the national disaster management agency (BNGRC).

  • Thousands of houses have been destroyed, damaged or flooded. Schools and health facilities have suffered wind damage in and around Mananjary city, as well as flooding of rice fields and homes in surrounding districts.

  • Emergency response teams are arriving and deploying to the areas hardest-hit by Tropical Cyclone Batsirai to support the Government-led response.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The death toll from Tropical Cyclone Batsirai has risen, with at least 92 people having lost their lives following the storm’s passage through Madagascar, according to the latest update from the BNGRC. More than 112,100 people have been affected by the disaster, including nearly 61,500 people who remain displaced in 99 temporary accommodation sites. At least five children under age 12 are among those reported dead, according to Save the Children.
The cyclone’s wind and rains have caused considerable damage. More than 17,100 houses have been destroyed (7,488), damaged (2,714) or flooded (6,978), while more than 2,000 classrooms have been damaged (885) or destroyed (1,203), and 59 health centres have been damaged (53) or destroyed (6). These figures are likely to continue to change in the days ahead, as more information becomes available, including in areas that have not yet reported on the destruction and damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Batsirai.

Roads remain closed in several locations, making it difficult to access some of the areas affected by the cyclone, including the road connecting Mananjary to the key national highway, route nationale 7 (RN7).

Multisectoral needs assessments are ongoing in the most-affected districts in the south-east of the country, including Mananjary, Manakara, Farafangana and Vohipeno.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE

The Government is coordinating response operations through its national disaster management agency (BNGCR) and has started to repair roads and remove fallen trees. It has also provided seven boats to transport people in flood-affected areas, including Mananjary,Vohipeno and Farafangana.

The national Emergency Operations Centre (CERVO) is operating and three Emergency Operations Centres are coordinating the response in areas affected by the cyclone (Mananjary, Manakara and Farafangana). All sectoral response efforts are being led by the Government’s line ministries, with support from humanitarian partners.
Emergency response teams are arriving to support the relief efforts. Humanitarian Air Bridge flights organized by European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) on 9 and 10 February have enabled the deployment of humanitarians, including specialized staff from UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, a 10-person United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team and European Union Civil Protection Team. In addition, Germany’s Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and Deutschen Lebens-Rettungs- Gesellschaft e.V (DLRG) have deployed 16 personnel and a water purification unit and 60 French civil protection experts have arrived.

In support of the activities carried out by the Malagasy Red Cross (CRM), and with the support of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), the French Red Cross has activated its emergency response system from La Reunion through its Regional Intervention Platform of the Indian Ocean (PIROI). PIROI is sending 87 tonnes of relief supplies from its warehouses in Madagascar (Antananarivo and Tamatave) and La Reunion, including reconstruction tools for houses, hygiene and sanitation kits (including soap, buckets and jerr cans) and essential supplies. The French Red Cross is also deploying logisticians and operations managers to support the response. The flight from La Reunion will take place on 11 February and the budget for PIROI’s operation is estimated at nearly US$762,000 (667,000 euros).
Food Security partners are preparing a market functionality assessment to help inform the response—including use of cash—in the days ahead and WFP has provided enough food for 6,000 people for 5 days to Farafangana and Vangaindrano.

Health partners, including WHO, UNICEF and Humanity and Inclusion (HI), have sent essential drugs, inter-agency emergency health kits (IEHK) and first aid kits, mosquito nets for the treatment and prevention of malaria, and COVID-19 prevention materials to areas affected by the cyclone and have established emergency medical posts at the temporary accommodation sites for displaced people. From 4 to 7 February, 308 consultations were carried out in the accommodation sites, with acute respiratory infections and flu-like symptoms being the primary reasons for people seeking care.

Protection activities are ongoing, including establishment of child-friendly spaces, training of social workers on gender- based violence (GBV) and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), psychological first aid, distribution of dignity kits for women and girl survivors of GBV, and medical care for survivors of sexual violence. Partners are also preparing safety audits of the accommodation sites, with a focus on children, and will visit detention centres to assess the impact of the cyclone on children in conflict with the law and women prisoners and identify their needs.
Shelter partners are procuring rehabilitation kits for households, health facilities and schools.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) partners have delivered WASH kits to Vatovavy, Fitovinany and Atsimo Atsinanana regions, and WASH sector assessments are underway in Atsinanana, Vatovavy, Fitovinany, Atsimo Atsinanana and Anosy to inform next steps in the response.

Efforts are also underway to enhance communication with communities affected by the crisis, including the mobilization of volunteers and community actors, as well as use of SMS broadcasting, to convey key messages.
Logistics partners are working to enable relief operations through evaluation of logistics infrastructure, such as ports and airports, and mapping of the road network and any blockages to inform partner movements. An Emergency Cash Grant (ECG) of $100,000 has been provided to WFP by OCHA to enable the use of air assets for immediate priorities, including aerial assessments and movement of personnel and supplies.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.