- Posted March 12, 2013 by
Homes washed away in Madagascar
Lanorhiy Rasoanantenaina and her family were one of many who lost their homes to Cyclone Haruna in Madagascar's village of Ambosab near the Fiherenana dyke. The tropical cyclone brought heavy rains that caused the dyke to collapse, which created a tsunami-type flood with millions of tons of sand and soil that destroyed all villages in its path.
The Rasoanantenaina family is currently living under a tarp in a schoolyard with 55 other families. ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members, Peter Pearce (AU) and Anthony Keating (AU), visited the school to carry out a needs assessment.
“On arrival we were overwhelmed by the stale stench in the air of the remnants of what the flood left behind,” Pearce said. “The school's roof was totally destroyed.”
They came across three families huddled together under a tarp, one of which being the Rasoanantenaina family. Like most of the families here, fishing is their trade.
Pearce and Keating spoke with Avisoa, Lanorhiy's sister, who had a very young baby in her arms. Aviosa named her four-year-old Harina, after Cyclone Haruna. “She was heavily pregnant when the storm hit, and I couldn't help but feel admiration for them both with their great strength,” Pearce said.
The SRT is working with an in-country contact, Madagascar's disaster management agency, BNGRC, to bring emergency shelter and other disaster relief to the displaced families, including the Rasoanantenainas who have been relocated to the army base football field in the southwest city of Toliara.
Prepositioned ShelterBoxes in Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo, are being used which has enabled a rapid response, addressing the shelter needs of families who have been left with nothing.
Cyclone Haruna struck the southwest region of Madagascar on Feb. 22, 2013, bringing gusts of wind reaching nearly 125 miles per hour, and heavy rains causing devastating floods.
The category 2 cyclone destroyed nearly 1,500 houses, displacing nearly 10,000 people and flooding more than 5,000 acres of rice crops, and seriously damaged 17,000 acres of other agriculture areas.
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