Seychelles declares state of emergency following massive explosion

Seychelles has plunged into a state of emergency after a colossal explosion rocked an industrial area on Mahé, the main island, alongside severe flooding wreaking havoc across the region.

The blast tore through the zone, demolishing commercial establishments and devastating nearby residential areas, leaving a path of destruction along the east coast of Mahé.

President Wavel Ramkalawan has issued orders for everyone, except essential workers, to remain at home amid this crisis.

Numerous individuals have sustained injuries, and several have been evacuated from their residences.

The explosion occurred shortly after 02:00 local time (22:00 GMT Wednesday) at a construction and quarrying company where explosives were stored in four containers.

Despite being 4km (2.5 miles) away, the international airport suffered damage. Schools are closed, hospitals are attending solely to emergency cases, and movement is restricted to and from the holiday islands.

“The Seychelles international Airport is still operational and ferry services between islands are operating for visitors,” the country’s official account said on X.

The UK government has advised its citizens on Mahé to remain indoors until further notice.

Intense rainfall overnight triggered severe flooding and landslides, compounding the challenges faced by response teams on the island.

Tragically, three individuals lost their lives as their homes were destroyed by the disaster.

The heavy downpour has led to sewage flowing into the ocean, prompting advisories against swimming.

President Ramkalawan, addressing the nation on television, described the simultaneous disasters as a “calamity” for the country. He urged citizens to stand in solidarity with those affected by the distressing situation.

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