Madagascar

Antananarivo (AFP) At least 34 people died when a bus carrying young Christian worshippers plunged down a steep ravine in central Madagascar, police and hospital officials said Tuesday. Police said 12 badly burned bodies were counted at the site, 70 kilometres (45 miles) north of the capital Antananarivo. Hospitals said that 22 other deaths had been confirmed after the late-night crash. “The bus struggled to climb a road on a hill and fell down a ravine about 20 metres deep,” police spokesman Herilalatiana Andrianarisaona told AFP. “It caught fire afterRead More
Antananarivo (AFP) A veteran political figure in Madagascar has died of gunshot wounds at his home, police said on Friday, after posting about personal problems on social media. Mamy Rakotoarivelo, a former parliament speaker and a key figure in talks that resolved a political crisis that dogged the country in the early 2000s, was found with a gunshot wound to the head. In recent days he had posted details of problems with his finances and love life to his personal Facebook account. A firearm was recovered from the scene, officersRead More
Antananarivo (AFP) Cyclone Enawo killed at least 50 people and affected 176,000 people after it hit Madagascar earlier this week, the national disaster management agency said Saturday, with thousands forced into emergency shelters. The toll issued by the head of the BNGRC agency Thierry Venty was significantly higher than the earlier estimate of just four deaths and 10,000 people displaced issued on Thursday. More than 53,000 people have been displaced and 180 injured by the storm, the agency said in a statement on Friday, while 32,000 have been affected inRead More
Antananarivo (AFP) Two competing roosters rear up to face each other in the heart of a rowdy Madagascan arena before bursting forward in attack, wings outstretched and claws set to strike. Feathers are shredded, blood is drawn and the birds squawk loudly as the combat intensifies and the crowd cheers wildly. A series of violent blows forces one of the avian contenders to retreat, drawing angry jeers from hundreds of spectators. Despite grinding poverty in the large Indian Ocean island nation, cockfighting draws huge crowds and attracts large sums ofRead More
Antananarivo (AFP) More than 10,000 Madagascans have been forced out of their homes over the past 48 hours as tropical cyclone Enawo battered the island, with the death toll rising to five, officials said Thursday. Parts of the capital Antananarivo were evacuated overnight as torrential rains hit the city. The storm hit land in Madagascar’s remote northeast on Tuesday, swelling rivers to bursting point and prompting fears of widespread flooding. In its latest update using data from Wednesday evening, the national disaster management office (BNGC) said there were “10,288 displacedRead More
Antananarivo (AFP) Tropical cyclone Enawo slammed into Madagascar on Tuesday, killing three people and displacing hundreds as it buffeted the island with hurricane-force winds and pounding rain. The national disaster management agency BNGRC, in a preliminary toll, said 468 people had been displaced in the northeastern district of Maroantsetra, and a landslip there had killed three people, including two children, injured six and damaged four schools. Videos on social media showed flattened trees, flooded roads and corrugated sheeting that had been ripped from roofs. Enawo made landfall in the northeastRead More
Antananarivo (AFP) At least 47 people, including 10 children and a newly-wed couple, were killed when a truck carrying a wedding party and guests veered off the road and plunged into a river in Madagascar, police said Sunday. Police said the accident occurred early Saturday outside the town of Anjozorobe, around 90 kilometres (56 miles) from the capital. The truck was transporting passengers who had attended a wedding the day before. There were “a total of 47 deaths, including 10 children” and the newly-wedded couple, police spokesman Herilala Andrianatisaona toldRead More
Betsinefe (Madagascar) (AFP) The dusty figure is lowered slowly into the ground like a bucket into a well, armed with just a crowbar, a shovel and an old, unreliable headlamp. In the surrounding countryside, bodies rise and sink from hundreds of holes just wide enough for a man. Children run between the rubble and the smell of cooking wafts from the makeshift shelters where women crouch over pots. Guards armed with hunting rifles stand by, turning the settlement of Betsinefe into a threatening scene. In the world of Madagascan sapphireRead More
Soamahamanina (Madagascar) (AFP) The mine had not yet opened, but Madagascans were already seething with rage and the Chinese management finally quit Soamahamanina, leaving behind empty tents and cigarette butts. For months, this small city in central Madagascar was engulfed by protests targeted at a Chinese gold mining company, Jiuxing. Every Thursday, city residents would take to the streets in downtown Soamahamanina to demonstrate against Jiuxing, which had secured a 40-year gold mining licence on a 7,500-hectare (18,500-acre) piece of land. For the protesters, the mining operation risked ruining theirRead More
Nosy Boraha (Madagascar) (AFP) It was a heartfelt journey before Christmas, a search for clues about loved ones who disappeared in a still unsolved mystery. The mission was a long shot, at best. But for several families seeking answers over the fate of relatives who perished aboard flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, any effort is better than none. Frustrated by a lack of progress in official investigations into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, the families spent the past week in Madagascar,Read More