Seychelles Faces Crisis: Emergency Declared Following Deadly Floods and Explosives Depot Explosion

by Ryan Lee
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Seychelles emergency

In a severe crisis, the Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago, proclaimed a state of emergency on Thursday. This drastic measure follows the tragic deaths of three individuals due to severe flooding and a substantial explosion at an explosives depot that left numerous injured near the capital city.

The health ministry reported that the explosion at the depot caused mainly minor injuries to 178 people. Occurring around 2 a.m. on Thursday, the explosion succeeded prolonged heavy rainfall that began Wednesday evening, primarily impacting the northern region of Mahe, the largest island. However, there was no immediate connection established between the weather conditions and the explosion.

In the wake of the rains, extensive damage was observed, including flooded homes, eroded road sections, and landslides in certain areas. Among the flood casualties, two individuals lost their lives after being trapped in their residence.

The explosion incident happened in Providence, an industrial zone situated approximately 7 kilometers southeast of Victoria, the nation’s capital, as stated by the President of Seychelles.

The explosion’s impact was devastating, leading to the destruction of several buildings, uprooting trees, and creating a significant crater. National television footage depicted injured individuals seeking medical assistance in hospitals and clinics following the explosion. Fortunately, there were no fatalities reported from this incident.

President Wavel Ramkalawan, in his address regarding the state of emergency, highlighted the catastrophic effects of both the floods and the explosion. He directed the closure of schools and advised citizens to remain indoors. This directive aims to facilitate emergency and essential service workers in effectively carrying out their duties.

Describing the explosion as causing “massive damage” and the floods as leading to “major destruction,” the President’s statement emphasized the severity of the situation. He also mentioned that many families had been forced to evacuate their homes for safety reasons and expressed his shock at the devastation in Providence and nearby areas, likening it to a war zone.

The President revealed that four containers of explosives were the source of the explosion and announced an impending investigation into whether the construction company responsible for storing the explosives had adhered to appropriate safety measures.

Government Minister Jean-Francois Ferrari, who visited the site, remarked on the enormity of the explosion and its loudness, confirming that no deaths had resulted from it. He assured that, despite the disaster, the situation was under control.

The authorities stated that international airport operations and ferry services between islands would continue during the state of emergency, allowing essential travel.

Seychelles, known for being the smallest country in Africa both in area and population, is a significant tourist destination. The primary island of Mahe is roughly 26 kilometers long and 17 kilometers wide.

The region of East Africa has recently been afflicted by intense rainfall and fatal flooding. Since late October, these conditions have resulted in hundreds of deaths and the displacement of millions across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan. The El Niño weather pattern has exacerbated these floods.

Experts state that human-induced climate change has also intensified the catastrophic rains in East Africa, making them more severe.

Contribution to this report by Rodney Muhumuza, AP writer in Kampala, Uganda.

For more information on African news: https://bigbignews.net/africa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Seychelles emergency

What caused Seychelles to declare a state of emergency?

Seychelles declared a state of emergency following severe flooding and a massive explosion at an explosives depot. The flooding resulted in the deaths of three people and the explosion in Providence caused mostly minor injuries to 178 people.

Where did the explosion in Seychelles occur?

The explosion occurred in Providence, an industrial area about 7 kilometers southeast of the capital, Victoria. It happened around 2 a.m. on Thursday, following hours of heavy rain and flooding.

Were there any fatalities due to the explosion in Seychelles?

No deaths were reported from the explosion at the explosives depot in Seychelles. However, it resulted in minor injuries to 178 people, with a policeman being treated in an intensive care unit.

How has the Seychelles government responded to the crisis?

President Wavel Ramkalawan declared a state of emergency, ordering schools to close and advising citizens to stay indoors. This allows emergency and essential service workers to effectively carry out their duties. An investigation into the storage of explosives at the construction company is also planned.

What is the extent of the damage caused by the flooding and explosion in Seychelles?

The flooding caused extensive damage, including flooded homes, washed away roads, and landslides. The explosion destroyed buildings, flattened trees, and created a large crater. Many families had to evacuate their homes for safety.

Is travel still possible in Seychelles during the state of emergency?

Yes, the international airport and ferry services between islands in Seychelles are still operating, allowing essential travel during the state of emergency.

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