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Cyclone Bingiza hits Madagascar

by Staff Writers
Antananarivo (AFP) Feb 14, 2011
Tropical cyclone Bingiza hit Madagascar on Monday, the disaster management authority said, adding that the north of the Indian Ocean island had been put on high alert.

"After making landfall this morning at 6:00 am (0300 GMT) on the eastern cape, tropical cyclone Bingiza swept the Antongil bay and the districts of Maroantsetra and Mananara-Avaratra," the authority said.

The disaster management authority's island's Louis De Gonzague Rakotonirainy said 33 districts in the northern part of the vast island had been put on high alert.

The cyclone destroyed power lines and homes, while river levels threatened to cause floods in affected areas.

The official said it was not yet clear whether the cyclone, which is expected to drift off the island on Tuesday, had caused any casualties.

Tropical storm Hubert had killed at least 83 people and affected a total of 187,000 in March 2010, according to the same source.

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