Damage to 60 islands after extreme weather

Damage to 60 islands after extreme weather
December 03 16:42 2017

A bout of extreme weather during the weekend caused damage to households and property in 62 islands across the Maldives.

Heavy rainfall caused flooding on 36 islands, strong winds tore off roofs and felled trees on 22 islands, and swells were reported from four islands, the National Disaster Management Centre told local media.

The flooding did not cause extensive damage in any of the affected households, according to the NDMC, but residents of three homes on the island of Hinnavaru and one on Naifaru in the northern Lhaviyani atoll were temporarily relocated.

The police and military assisted with draining and pumping out floodwater on several islands.

The torrential rain was the distant consequence of Ockhi, a cyclone that formed off the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka last week. The death toll in the neighbouring island nation has since climbed to 15 with more than 30,000 households damaged due to heavy rain and winds.

The cyclone also hit the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the Lakshwadeep islands north of the Maldives, claiming about 14 lives, according to Reuters.

As the storm gained strength late Thursday, the Maldives Meteorological Services issued a yellow alert for north and central atolls, advising against non-essential sea travel.

Some 14 incidents occurred due to rough seas, including a cargo boat capsizing near the Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives Resort in Kaafu atoll on Thursday. The three crew members were rescued by a vessel dispatched by the resort.

A cargo boat also capsized near the Taj Coral Reef resort and its three crew were rescued by a speedboat.

On the same day, a speedboat also tipped over while approaching the northern island of Maaugoodhoo. The 13 people on board were reportedly rescued unharmed.

The yellow alert was lifted Saturday morning and the Maldives is no longer expected to be affected by the cyclone as it moves northward.

For Sunday, the Met department forecast scattered rain with a few thunderstorms in the southern atolls. Seas are expected to be moderate.

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