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At least 37 dead in tropical storms in Madagascar and Mozambique

Tropical Storm Anna has killed at least 34 people in Madagascar and three in Mozambique and cut off power to Malawi, officials in the three countries said today.

The storm, which formed off the east coast of Africa’s largest island, Madagascar, brought torrential rains that caused floods and landslides in the capital, Antananarivo.

A recent report by the Madagascar Disaster Management Agency said 34 people had been killed and nearly 65,000 left homeless last week.

Several low-lying neighborhoods in the capital are still on standby, and an emergency evacuation began overnight.

Across the Indian Ocean, the storm reached mainland Africa on Monday, bringing torrential rains and strong winds to central and northern Mozambique.

Authorities in Mozambique said on Tuesday that three people had been killed and at least 66 injured.

According to the National Institute for Disaster Risk Management, more than 3,800 people have been affected so far, and a clinic and 16 classrooms have been destroyed overnight.

The UN predicts the storm will cause severe flooding, displacement and damage to infrastructure.

The storm will potentially affect “very vulnerable populations already affected by previous natural disasters and conflicts in northern Mozambique,” according to an updated statement from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The government and UN agencies estimate that 500,000 people could be affected in the provinces of Nampula, Zambia and Sofala in Mozambique.

In neighboring Malawi, the storm left most parts of the country without electricity last night, after torrential floods raised water levels and forced the power company to turn off its generators.

– Our production depends on the water level and at the moment the level is too high to start the machines. That’s too risky, said Moses Gwaza, a spokesman for the electricity company.

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