Authorities in Madagascar say Tropical Cyclone Jade has left nine people dead and nearly 40,000 affected.

The National Office for the Management of Risks and Catastrophes said the heavy rains left in its wake threaten serious flooding, which would further damage homes and contaminate drinking water with salt water.

The cyclone hit earlier this week in the midst of political instability. President Marc Ravalomana was forced to resign last month after weeks of chaotic opposition protests. A UN spokeswoman told VOA aid efforts would be hampered by the country's political unrest.

In the region worst affected by Cyclone Jade, Analanjirifo in the island's east, victims number around 25,000. And Elizabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the U.N. Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Efforts, told VOA 60,000 people across the island are still recovering from two cyclones that hit in January.

Cyclone season typically runs from December to April.

The U.N. estimates that an additional 3.5 million people in the cities and the drought-affected south need humanitarian assistance. 



Some information for this report was provided by AFP.