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01 Feb 2008 14:58
The death toll from a cyclone that hit Madagascar on Sunday has risen to 12 people from two and 5 000 others are in need of aid, a senior relief official said on Friday.
“The latest official count is 12 dead, with more than 5 000 victims,” Jean Rakotomalala, executive secretary of the Malagasy government’s National Office of Disasters, told journalists.
Cyclone Fame struck the giant Indian Ocean island’s west coast over the weekend but has since moved away.
Madagascar is prone to frequent cyclones and tropical storms, especially in the rainy season from February to May.
Last year, six cyclones hit the island killing at least 150 people and destroying homes and crops in Madagascar’s worst season on record.
Scientists say rising sea temperatures linked to climate change are likely to increase the frequency and intensity of cyclones in the tropics over the coming decades, and some suspect they have already. - Reuters
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