Madagascar tropical storm claims 46 lives

A NASA satellite photo shows Tropical Cyclone Bansi off Madagascar on January 14, 2015 (AFP Photo/)

Antananarivo (AFP) – A tropical storm which battered Madagascar at the weekend left 46 people dead, according to a final toll published by the authorities on Wednesday.

More than 120,000 people were also affected by Storm Chedza which lashed the Indian Ocean island with heavy rains for days, according to the national disaster management office.

Madagascar mob kills Europeans over ‘organ trafficking’


(BBC) Two European men have been burnt to death in Madagascar by protesters who suspected they were trafficking human organs after a child went missing.

A local man had been arrested in connection with the disappearance on Wednesday on Nosy Be, a tourist island resort in Madagascar’s north-west.

A crowd then rioted outside the police station believing him to have been paid to remove the child’s organs.

The mob proceeded on “a manhunt” for the foreigners, police said.

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Madagascar battling worst locust plague since 1950s

Locusts threatening livelihood of 60% of population, and have already destroyed a quarter of Madagascar’s food crops

MDG Locusts in Madagascar

A locust swarm in Madagascar’s Isalo national park. Photograph: Tiphaine Desjardin/FAO


At least 1.5m hectares (3.7m acres) could be infested by locusts in two-thirds of the country by September, warns the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Findings from a damage assessment indicate that rice and maize crop losses due to locusts in the mid- and south-western parts of Madagascar vary, on average, from 40% to 70%, reaching up to 100% in some plots.

Madagascar’s agriculture ministry declared a national disaster in November. The food security and livelihoods of 13 million people are at stake, about 60% of the island’s population. Around 9 million people depend directly on agriculture for food and income.

“We don’t have enough funds for pesticide, helicopters and training,” said Alexandre Huynh, the FAO’s representative in Madagascar. “What is extremely costly is to run helicopters [needed to spray pesticides]. We have to start in September, and we have two to three months to prepare. We need $22.4m [£15.1m] but we are quite short of that. Discussions are going on with donors.”

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