Cyclone Batsirai death toll rises to 92 in Madagascar

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At least 92 people have died following the passage of the intense tropical cyclone Batsirai on Feb. 5 and 6 in Madagascar, according to the latest report published Wednesday evening by the Office of Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC).

Of the 92 people who died, 71 were recorded in the district of Ikongo, a town located in the Fitovinany region in the southeast of the country, the report said.

Carole Ray, an official from the BNGRC, told Xinhua in a telephone interview on Wednesday that in Ikongo, the deaths were mainly caused by collapsing houses and rising waters.

"Despite the daily sensitization on cyclone warnings and security directives, especially the preventive evacuation in accommodation sites, there were some residents who refused to leave their homes," the official lamented.

"The death toll will rise as more information is gathered," she added.

Provisional figures also recorded more than 110,000 people affected and 61,489 displaced people after the cyclone swept the country.

Intense tropical cyclone Batsirai made landfall Saturday evening in Madagascar, with the exact location being monitored at 14 km north of the town of Mananjary, 535 km southeast of the capital Antananarivo. Batsirai crossed the country from east to west before going out to sea Sunday in the Mozambique Channel.

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