Stamford, Conn. – March 9, 2017 – Americares is deploying an emergency response team to Madagascar where a deadly cyclone displaced more than 10,000 people this week. Relief workers focused on meeting survivors’ health needs are on their way from Americares offices in the U.S. and Nepal to the African country.
The equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane, Cyclone Enawo made landfall in the northeastern part of the island nation on Tuesday with wind gusts up to 185 mph and slowly moved south toward the capital, Antananarivo. Heavy rains and strong winds damaged homes and schools and destroyed crops in the drought-stricken region. Initial reports indicate more than 10,000 people were forced to flee their homes in the Analanjirofo region; an estimated 760,000 people are affected nationwide. The storm is expected to continue today, raising concerns about flooding, landslides and the spread of waterborne diseases.
“It is still too early to know the full extent of the damage. But based on the storm’s strength and trajectory, we know thousands of people are likely affected,” said Americares Director of Emergency Programs Kate Dischino. “This is an area already suffering from severe drought and food insecurity. We will work to ensure survivors have access to critical health services.”
Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in its warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The organization responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.