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Death toll in Madagascar cyclone Enawo rises, thousands displaced

Cyclone Enawo has killed 38 people and injured more than 100 in the drought-stricken island nation. The Red Cross has deployed volunteers to assist the more than 53,000 people displaced by the storm.

Officials in Madagascar said late on Friday that a cyclone that wreaked havoc on the island earlier this week had killed 38 people, a sharp increase from the death toll of five that had been previously reported.

Some of the victims had been killed by landslides caused by the heavy rainfall, according to the country's disaster response agency.

Cyclone Enawo injured 180 others and forced 53,000 from their homes and into temporary shelters. It hit Madagascar's northeastern coast on Tuesday morning, causing widespread destruction across the vanilla-producing region.

More than 116,000 people were displaced or had their property damaged in what the national weather service called the worst storm to hit the country in years. In 2012, two bad storms rocked the island and claimed more than 100 lives.

The Red Cross announced that it had deployed about 500 volunteers to help the victims. Damage caused by the storm is likely to compound problems Madagascar has already been grappling with, including severe drought and food shortages since 2015.

es/se (AFP, Reuters)

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