Ongoing flooding brings further misery to Madagascar

At least 14 killed and 24,000 forced from homes as latest spell of flooding drowns areas around capital Antananarivo.

Deadly flooding in the Madagascan capital Antananarivo
The Sisaony river floods the village of Soavina, a suburb of Antananarivo, after night of torrential rain [AFP]

Torrential rains in central Madagascar have killed at least 14 people and forced 24,000 people from their homes, as flood waters continued to surge, breaching a number of dams around the capital, Antananarivo.

As many as 50 houses were swept away in these floods on Friday and into Saturday as those downpours continued on already saturated land.

People have been evacuated from flooded areas as buildings are at a risk of collapsing as a result of the latest spell of severe flooding.

Antananarivo has recorded 219mm of rain in the last seven days, 129mm of which fell on Thursday alone. The average for the entire month of February is 279mm.

Levels of the Ikopa River rose by 70cm in 24 hours in Anosizato, while river levels currently stand at 17cm above flood levels in Bevomanga city in central Madagascar.

The capital was originally built on the rugged higher ground, but the expanding population has turned the low-lying surrounding areas into residential slums.

Authorities have issued red alert warnings in these lowlands around the capital.

It has been an incredibly wet rainy season with heavy showers plaguing both sides of the Mozambique Channel since the end of 2014. The season is expected to continue until the end of March.

Source: Al Jazeera