[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 15:43 GMT
Madagascar calls for cyclone aid
Madagascar has called for international aid to help deal with the damage caused by a cyclone that hit the northern part of the island at the weekend.

State radio reported that at least seven people had been killed in the storm, but this has not been confirmed.

Interior Minister General Soja said there were still no communications with the region so it was difficult to get precise details of the damage caused.

But he feared that 100,000 people may have been made homeless.

French relief teams are due to fly over the affected north-east region to assess the destruction.

The government has appealed for more planes and helicopters to reach isolated areas, as well as tents, food and medicine.

Cyclone Gafilo made landfall near the city of Antalaha early on Sunday, and has been moving south with winds gusting up to 180km/h (120mph).

Shipwrecks

A BBC correspondent in Madagascar said there were reports of many ships being wrecked, as the authorities feared it could be one of the worst cyclones the island in the Indian Ocean had experienced.

Madagascar is usually exposed to cyclones between December and March.

Last month 29 people were killed and tens of thousands were made homeless by Cyclone Elita.

Meteorologists fear the storm could return to the country later in the week.


SEE ALSO:
Cyclone flattens Madagascar town
04 Apr 00  |  Africa
Fierce cyclone hits Madagascar
02 Apr 00  |  Africa
Country profile: Madagascar
27 May 03  |  Country profiles


RELATED BBCi LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific