Disasters & Accidents

Explosion triggered a state of emergency in Seychelles

Nairobi, Dec 7 (EFE).- A blast at an explosive depot storage in the insular nation Seychelles wounded at least 66 people and forced the government to declare a “state of emergency,” that lasted throughout the day until it was lifted at 18:00 local time, President Wavel Ramkalawan said.

The explosion occurred at the CCCL explosives store in the Providence industrial area on Mahé, the largest island in the Indian Ocean.

“For the last 10 years there were major concerns about the stock of explosives (being held),” President Ramkalawan admitted at a press conference in Victoria.

“Four containers of explosives blew off… My heart is heavy right now and I know many families are being affected. I was shocked to see Providence, Petit Paris and Cascade in such a state. It was as if we went through a war,” highlighted Ramkalawan, describing the state of the disaster area on the east coast of Mahé.

Despite being about four kilometers (2.48 miles) away, the international airport was also damaged.

“The Seychelles International Airport is still operational and ferry services between islands are operating for visitors,” authorities said on X (formerly Twitter).

In addition, at least three people were killed, when heavy rains caused severe flooding and landslides on the island on Wednesday night.

“Everyone is being asked to stay at home. All schools will be closed. Only workers in the essential services and persons traveling will be allowed free movement,” Ramkalawan said in a statement before the press conference.

The president made the decision “to allow the emergency services to carry out essential work.”

The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, sent his support to the island nation.

“The entire African Union family stands in strong solidarity and prayer with President Ramkalawan, the govt & people of Seychelles in the face of torrential rains following a powerful explosion on Mahe island that has caused tragic loss of life & massive infrastructural damage,” Mahamat wrote on X, formerly Twitter. EFE


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