Death toll rises to 16 after tropical storm Cheneso hits Madagascar

ANTANANARIVO, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The death toll has risen to 16 with 19 people still missing after the strong tropical storm Cheneso hit Madagascar, according to the latest report released Thursday by the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC).

In addition, 55,421 people were affected in 15 regions; among them, 25,678 people have been relocated, said the BNGRC, adding that 13,356 houses were flooded and 500 others destroyed.

Cheneso made landfall on Jan. 19 on the northeastern coast of the Indian Ocean island country and moved toward the southwest.

As of Thursday afternoon, Cheneso was located 175 km west of the western coast of Madagascar, according to the latest cyclone bulletin issued by Meteo Madagascar. It is moving slowly southwest at a speed of 7 km/h and will move more than 130 km away from the coast in the next two days.

As a result, the yellow alert remains in effect for areas in the south and southwest of the country; rainfall of 40 mm to 80 mm in 24 hours will persist, it was reported.

Heavy rains are still expected on the western coast of the country, warned Meteo Madagascar.

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