- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2020

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) - At least 13 people have died in flooding and landslides caused by torrential rains in Madagascar this week, authorities said Thursday, with the military deployed to help evacuate people at risk from rising waters.

Another 19 people are missing and more than 47,000 people are threatened across the Indian Ocean island nation, disaster officials said. They called those numbers preliminary. Eighteen of the missing were carried away when trying to cross a river to return to their village, Mitsinjo, in the northwest.

Major roads in the northern part of the country have been cut off in several places by the heavy rains since Monday, leaving some villages isolated.

On Wednesday a dam overflowed near the Tanambe community, some 330 kilometers (205 miles) north of the capital, Antananarivo, flooding several area villages and farmlands.

Serious damage is feared to rice production in the region that is considered Madagascar’s breadbasket.

“We can’t give numbers yet but crops are almost completely inundated,” Elack Olivier Andriakaja with the national disaster management office told reporters Thursday.

The rain will continue next week, Andriakaja said.

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