Hurricane Ava struck eastern Madagascar January 5-6, hitting the eastern coast of the island with wind speeds of up to 190 km/h (120 mph). As of Thursday, January 11, the death toll is estimated at 36 people with approximately 22,000 more displaced. In total, 136,005 persons have been affected (including those with flooded homes or fields) and extensive infrastructural damage has been reported. More than 16,000 students have had classes suspended through at least January 11 due to the continued risk of flooding and landslides. A number of areas are also reporting electricity outages and multiple roads are blocked. The worst flooding so far has been reported in the slums of Antananarivo and in the town of Toamasina (Atsinanana region); ; flooding and landslides also obstructed parts of Route nationale 2 (RN2). Related transportation disruptions are expected to persist in the coming days.
The cyclone season in Madagascar typically runs from November to April, with coastal areas of the country most severely affected.
Individuals present in the affected areas of Madagascar are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm travel reservations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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