Seychelles declares state of emergency and orders citizens to stay indoors after huge explosion and heavy flooding

Seychelles declares state of emergency and orders citizens to stay indoors after huge explosion and heavy flooding

The Seychelles has declared a state of emergency and ordered citizens to stay indoors after a huge explosion and heavy flooding.

President Wavel Ramkalawan urged people except essential workers to stay at home following the blast at a store in Mahe, the largest island in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

His office said in a statement on X: ‘Following an explosion at the CCCL explosives store that has caused massive damage… and major destruction caused by flooding due to heavy rains, the President has declared a State of Emergency for today the 7th December.

‘All schools will be closed. Only workers in the essential services and persons travelling will be allowed free movement. This is to allow the emergency services to carry out essential work.’

The explosion occurred in the Providence industrial area in Mahe and caused huge damage there and to surrounding areas, the presidency said. 

Several people have been injured in the explosion after three were killed in the flooding when their homes collapsed the BBC reports.

The international airport was also damaged despite being 2.5miles away from the blast but remains open to allow tourists to travel in and out of the holiday destination. 

‘The Seychelles International Airport is still operational and ferry services between islands are operating for visitors,’ the tourism-dependent country said on its official Visit Seychelles account on X.

The downpour in the country has caused sewage to flow into the ocean, which caused authorities to warn people not to go swimming. 

The British government has also urged its citizens who are currently in Mahe to stay inside in new guidance for travel to the Seychelles.

It said: ‘Due to heavy rains and an industrial accident during the night of 6 December a state of emergency has been declared on 7 December. If you are in Seychelles on the island of Mahé, you are advised to refrain from leaving your accommodation until further notice.

‘Flights to and from the country continue to operate and visitors arriving or departing are able to travel to and from the airport.

‘Swimming in the sea in the northeast of the island of Mahé is currently not advised due to an overflow of the sewage system caused by heavy rains. You should follow advice from the local authorities as the situation progresses.’

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