Tropical Cyclone Batsirai blew homes apart and washed away whole villages in Madagascar where it made landfall near Mananjary late Saturday, with 20 deaths reported so far. The storm gained strength over the Indian Ocean and slammed into the island nation with 103mph winds, equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane, which ripped off roofs, and even cracked concrete foundations. “Despite not being responsible for causing climate change, it is Africans who are bearing both the brunt and the cost,” Madagascar UNICEF representative Jean Benoit Manhes told AFP.
Nearly the entire town of Nosy Varika (about 45 miles north of Mananjary) was destroyed, and looks “as if we had just been bombed,” a local official told Al Jazeera. Batsirai’s destruction compounds the devastation wrought by Tropical Cyclone Ana less than two weeks ago, when 55 people were killed in Madagascar and an additional 40 people lost their lives in Mozambique and Malawi. (AFP, Al Jazeera, AP, Reuters, AccuWeather, CNN, Weather Channel, BBC, The Guardian, Al Jazeera Photos; Climate Signals background: Cyclonic storms)