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Disaster in paradise: Seychelles declare emergency after devastating explosion

2023-12-07T12:17:31.694Z

Highlights: Disaster in paradise: Seychelles declare emergency after devastating explosion. The incident occurred on the main island, Mahé, and led to flooding. It swept through the area, toppled commercial buildings and vandalized nearby homes, leaving a trail of devastation. President Wavel Ramkalawan called the two disasters a "calamity" for the country and called on people to show solidarity with those affected. Several people have been injured and several people were also evacuated from their homes. Three people were killed when their homes were destroyed.


The incident occurred on the main island, Mahé, and led to flooding. It swept through the area, toppled commercial buildings and vandalized nearby homes, leaving a trail of devastation.


Seychelles declared a state of emergency on Thursday following a huge explosion in an industrial area of the main island, Mahé, as well as flooding. The blast swept through the area, toppling commercial buildings and shattering nearby homes, leaving a trail of devastation along the east coast of Mahé Island. President Wavel Ramkalawan has ordered everyone except essential workers to stay home.

The explosion occurred in an explosives warehouse and its damage was combined with heavy rains.

People examine the destruction of a building in the Providence industrial complex. Photo: Mervyn Marie / AFP

"Following an explosion at the CCCL explosives warehouse that has caused damage in and around the Providence industrial estate and the extensive destruction left by flooding due to heavy rains, the president has declared a state of emergency for today, December 7," the Seychellois Office of the Presidency said in a brief statement.

"Everyone is asked to stay at home. All schools will be closed. Only essential service workers and people travelling will be allowed free movement," the document added.

Ramkalawan made this decision "to allow emergency services to carry out essential work."

Further details of the explosion are still unknown and authorities have not specified whether there were any deaths or injuries.

Providence's industrial zone is on Mahe, the largest island in this archipelago in the Indian Ocean and where the capital of Seychelles, Victoria, is located, which is home to the majority of the country's population.

Several people have been injured.

Several people were also evacuated from their homes.

The explosion occurred shortly after 02:00 local time (19 on Wednesday) at a construction and quarry company, where explosives were stored in four containers.

The international airport was also damaged, despite being 4 kilometers away. Hospitals closed for all cases except for emergencies.

Buildings destroyed after the explosion in Mahé. Photo: Mervyn Marie / AFP

The only movement allowed is in and out of the tourist islands.

"Seychelles International Airport remains operational and there are inter-island ferry services for visitors," the country's official account on X said.

The UK government has advised its citizens on the island of Mahé to stay at home until further notice.

Exceptionally heavy rains overnight have led to severe flooding and landslides, increasing pressure on the island's response teams.

Exceptionally heavy overnight rains have led to severe flooding. Photo: AP

Three people were killed when their homes were destroyed.

Sewage at sea

The deluge has caused sewage to flow into the ocean and people were advised not to swim.

Speaking on national television, President Ramkalawan called the two disasters a "calamity" for the country and called on people to show solidarity with those affected.

What are the Seychelles Islands?

After an ominous post-independence start that included a coup d'état, a mercenary invasion, a failed military mutiny, and several coup attempts, the Seychelles have achieved stability and prosperity.

A postcard of Mahé, in the Seychelles. Photo: Shutterstock

Today, the Indian Ocean archipelago enjoys a high per capita income and good health care and education.

The economy of the former British colony relies heavily on the fishing industry and luxury tourism.

In 2017, they were involved in the so-called Paradise Papers, which revealed the financial transactions of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants, and business leaders.

Giant tortoise in Aldabra, Seychelles. Photo: Shutterstock

Seychelles is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including giant tortoises and sea turtles. Much of the land is protected as part of nature reserves.

With information from agencies and BBC News

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-12-07

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