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A tropical cyclone swept across Madagascar, causing severe flooding and leaving 18 people dead and four missing. The storm, named Cyclone Gamane, made landfall earlier this week on the north of the Indian Ocean island nation, bringing with it strong winds and heavy rainfall. Entire villages were partially submerged, displacing or affecting around 47,000 people. Landslides caused by the cyclone also resulted in injuries to three individuals, according to the National Office for Disaster Management.

The regions of Diana and Sava in northern Madagascar were particularly hard hit by Cyclone Gamane, with bridges and roads washed away, houses submerged, and rice fields destroyed. Some residents were left stranded in their homes as floodwaters reached nearly to the roofs of buildings. Despite the significant damage caused by the cyclone, the storm has since weakened considerably and the cyclone red alert was lifted on Thursday morning. Residents worked together to navigate the flooded villages in canoes, offering assistance to those in need.

Madagascar has experienced a series of devastating cyclones in recent months, with at least 10 strong tropical storms hitting the island since the beginning of 2022. The World Food Program has warned that the extreme weather conditions have led to a hunger crisis in certain parts of the country. The United Nations noted that Madagascar has faced an unprecedented number of cyclones in the past two years, in addition to its worst drought in 40 years in the southern regions. The World Bank considers Madagascar to be highly vulnerable to climate change, with one of the highest rates of poverty in the world.

The damage caused by Cyclone Gamane is just the latest in a series of natural disasters that have afflicted Madagascar in recent years. The island nation, already facing challenges due to climate change, poverty, and food insecurity, is struggling to recover from the aftermath of the storm. The government and humanitarian organizations are working to provide assistance to those affected by the cyclone, including delivering essential supplies, providing medical treatment, and assisting with recovery efforts. The resilience of the Malagasy people is evident as communities come together to support one another in the face of adversity.

As Madagascar continues to grapple with the aftermath of Cyclone Gamane, there is an urgent need for international support to help the country recover and rebuild. The impact of the storm has been devastating, with homes destroyed, infrastructure damaged, and lives lost. The response from the global community will play a crucial role in assisting Madagascar in its recovery efforts and in building resilience against future natural disasters. By working together, we can help the people of Madagascar overcome this challenging time and build a more sustainable and secure future for all.

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