Flooding in Madagascar's capital kills 14, uproots thousands

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 27, 2015 11:32 AM

ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - Floods in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo and the surrounding area have killed 14 people and forced more than 21,000 from their homes, authorities said on Friday.

More rain in the coming days could inflict further damage on the large Indian Ocean island nation, they said.

People are trying to leave flooded areas in wooden canoes and speedboats are also being provided to help residents flee to safety.

"Because of problems with the drainage system in the city, it is proving hard to channel the waters and the pumping stations are running at full capacity," said Philippe Rateloson, head of the authority charged with protection against flooding.

Antananarivo and its environs have been pummeled by heavy rains since February 14. Last month, tropical storm Chedza killed 80 people across the island.

Mineral-rich Madagascar has been struggling to rebuild its economy following a 2009 coup that scared away donors and investors.

(Reporting by Lovasoa Rabary; Editing by Edith Honan and Gareth Jones)