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State of Emergency declared in the Seychelles

Flooding and landslides have destroyed well over a hundred houses on the main island of Mahe.
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2013 12:41
A state of emergency has been declared in three districts of Mahe, the largest island in the Seychelles [Al Jazeera]

Parts of the Seychelles have been declared a state of emergency after severe weather hit the country.

Fortunately no casualties have been reported, but flooding, landslides and rock falls have hit the main island of Mahe. Over 150 houses have been damaged by the extreme conditions.

Pointe Au Sel in the southeast of the island reported 184mm of rain in a 24 hour period. This is nearly half the amount of rain which is expected in the entire month of January, which is the wettest month of the year.

Many other parts of the island also received well over 100mm, easily enough to generate flooding. With the ground fully saturated, landslides were inevitable.

The extreme conditions prompted the government to declare a state of emergency in the three worst hit districts on Monday, and appealed for international aid.

A National Disaster Relief Fund has been set up in order to raise financial assistance for the families whose houses have been damaged or destroyed in the floods, but the president of the Indian Ocean archipelago, James Michel, said the country could not cope with the disaster on its own.

On Monday the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue were still on red alert, as torrential rain continued to drench the country.

Members of the public were advised to stay home and only travel if it was essential. It was hoped these measures would help to prevent accidents, and to keep the roads clear for the emergency services.

The severe weather was caused by the outer fringes of Tropical Cyclone Felleng which is currently strengthening in the South Indian Ocean. The storm is currently drifting southwards at approximately 20kph, to the east of Madagascar.

Over the next few days, the east coast of Madagascar will see torrential rain and the risk of flooding. However, across the Seychelles, the thunderstorms are expected to clear on Wednesday and the next few days should be dry. This should allow the flood waters to recede and the clear up operation to continue unhindered.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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