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Seychelles declares state of emergency after explosion, flooding


Seychelles declares state of emergency after explosion, flooding

World leaders gather for the 78th annual United Nations General Assembly

Wavel Ramkalawan President of Seychelles addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 20, 2023. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/ File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

NAIROBI, Dec 7 (Reuters) – A blast at an explosives store wrecked buildings and caused “massive damage” to an industrial zone on the Seychelles’ main island Mahe, officials said, prompting the president to declare a state of emergency on Thursday.

The blast shook the island as heavy rains triggered flooding which killed at least two people, authorities said.

Footage broadcast on national television showed streets covered in deep mud and strewn with debris and uprooted trees.

“Following an explosion at the CCCL explosives store that has caused massive damage to the Providence Industrial area and the surrounding areas and major destruction caused by flooding due to heavy rains, the President has declared a State of Emergency for today the 7th December,” President Wavel Ramkalawan’s office said in a statement.

“Everyone is being asked to stay at home. All schools will be closed. Only workers in the essential services and persons travelling will be allowed free movement.”

A public radio station reported that two people were killed and one injured by floods overnight on Mahe.

The government’s official Visit Seychelles account on X said the international airport and ferries between its islands remained operational for tourists.

The Seychelles, a major tourist destination, is made up of 115 islands and is the least populous country in Africa with about 100,000 people.

Reporting by Aaron Ross and George Thande; Writing by Giulia Paravicini and Aaron Ross; Editing by Tom Hogue and Andrew Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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