Heavy rains in Madagascar cause flooding in capital, 10 dead

Antananarivo (Madagascar): Heavy rains in Madagascar have flooded parts of the capital city, Antananarivo, killing 10 people and making more than 12,000 homeless, officials said Wednesday.

With the rains continuing and a possible cyclone approaching the Indian Ocean island, officials warned of potential landslides in the capital city, which is built on steep hills.

President Andry Rajoelina has called an emergency meeting over the flooding crisis, his office announced.

At least 2,400 residences in the capital are flooded and low-lying areas of the city are in deep water, officials said. Six houses in higher parts of the city have collapsed because of the rains.

Three gymnasiums in the city are being used to house displaced families and others are sheltering in schools and local government offices.

We are appealing to the inhabitants of Antananarivo and the surrounding municipalities to leave areas at high risk of landslides, places where trees are at risk of falling and houses are at risk of collapsing, Gen. Elack Andriankaja, director-general of the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, said Wednesday.

According to meteorology forecasts, there is a high risk of a cyclone in the Indian Ocean by the end of this week, he said.

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