Africa: Seychelles in a state of emergency following heavy damage caused by torrential rain and flooding

A state of emergency was declared in the Seychelles on Thursday 07 December following an explosion at an explosives depot, at a time when the country was already facing severe damage caused by torrential rain and flooding.

The explosion occurred this Thursday morning in the explosives warehouse of the Civil Construction Company Ltd on the island of Mahe, the country’s largest.

The incident occurred as flooding damaged a nearby industrial estate, causing extensive damage.

According to the Seychelles Police, several people were injured in the explosion, including two police officers who were on duty at the time.

A more precise assessment of the damage will be provided in the next few hours.

In response to the situation, the Head of State of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, declared a state of emergency with effect from Thursday 07 December 2023, announcing at the same time that «all schools will be closed. Only workers employed in essential sectors will be allowed to travel, to enable the emergency services to do their crucial work». The airport and ferries will remain operational.

At his press conference, the Head of State said that two people had been killed in a landslide.

Known for its paradisiacal white sand beaches and luxury tourism, the Seychelles archipelago, a former British colony, is made up of 115 islands.

East Africa and the Indian Ocean have been hit for weeks by torrential rain and flooding linked to the El Niño phenomenon, which has displaced more than a million people in Somalia and killed more than 300 in the region.


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