According to authorities, at least 16 people have died in a tropical storm on the African island nation of Madagascar. 19 others are missing, as the national civil protection authority announced on Friday. More than 55,000 people and thousands of houses are affected by the heavy rains and floods that have plagued the country in the Indian Ocean for over a week.
Tropical storm "Cheneso" reached the island off Africa's south-east coast on January 19 and since then has wreaked havoc, especially in the north of the country. In some areas the water is still knee deep; numerous people had fled their homes, said a teacher in the northern city of Mahajanga, Brigitte Hamizaty, the German Press Agency. According to the authorities, dozens of roads in the region were inaccessible and bridges collapsed.
"Cheneso" was withdrawn on Friday morning, according to Madagascar's meteorological authority. However, heavy rains are still expected on the west and south-east coast of the island state with around 28 million inhabitants.