A team unloads plastic sheeting for temporary shelters in Mozambique. (USAID/Bita Rodrigues)

This week USAID is assisting communities and individuals impacted by the cyclones in Madagascar, Mozambique, and Malawi. We are providing shelter, clean water, and health protection to those affected by the cyclones.

Fewer than 24 hours after Cyclone Giovanna made landfall on Madagascar’s exposed east coast, Thomas Gibb, USAID Madagascar’s Mission Disaster Relief Officer, was in a helicopter flying over the affected zones and surveying the damage.

There is major damage, reported Gibb from the field:

From the air, you can clearly see roofs blown off and shattered homes. These homes were built with traditional materials that were not meant to withstand winds that reached 150 miles/hour. Some houses built on wooden stilts just crumbled… We could see clothes, bags of rice, and personal items from the sky. People have spread their meager belongings outside to dry. It looked like peoples’ lives were laid out in front of us.

USAID’s prepositioned relief supplies are already being distributed, and our disaster response experts are on the ground working alongside local officials to identify needs and learn what additional U.S. assistance is needed.