Death toll from Madagascar storm rises to 78: authorities

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 23, 2010 17:30 hrs

A tropical storm that hit the Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar this month killed at least 78 people and affected some 145,000, according to a new toll authorities released Tuesday.

Madagascar's southeastern regions were the worst affected by tropical storm Hubert, which brought severe weather between March 8 and 12.

Thirty-four people remain missing, authorities said, while rains inundated more than 26,000 hectares of rice fields in an area of the southeast and killed 810 cows.

The cyclone season began in November and extends until April.

In recent years, cyclones in the impoverished country have caused huge destruction and killed scores.