The number of deaths in Madagascar has risen to 38 after cyclone Enawo slammed into the country earlier this week, the national disaster management department said late on Friday (10 March).
"The damage is enormous wherever the cyclone has gone," Thierry Venty, executive secretary of the National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management said.
The agency, on Thursday (9 March), had estimated just four deaths with 10,000 people displaced. However, the death toll has risen to 38, with more than 100 of them injured. Media reports suggest that most of the victims died due to landslides caused by the heavy rainfall.
More than 32,000 people are thought to have been affected in the capital city Antananarivo alone, it said, while 116,000 were directly affected due to the cyclone in the entire country. However, it is unclear as to how many of those had their property damaged.
The cyclone, which had hit vanilla-producing northeastern Madagascar coast on 7 March, destroyed roads and cut off communications with the 230,000 population-filled Antalaha district. It also left rivers to swell to bursting point, sparking fears of widespread flooding.
Enawo weakened after making landfall and has now been reclassified as a tropical depression. It is reportedly now moving southwards, which is closer to an island which lies 400 km off the coast of Africa.
Videos released on social media showed flattened trees, corrugated sheets ripping off from roofs and flooded roads as the result of the deadly cyclone.
Enawo is believed to be the most powerful cyclone to strike Madagascar since the 2012 disaster, according to Red Cross.
The NGO said it had deployed about 500 volunteers to help those affected due to cyclone.