Tidal swells not as bad as predicted

Tidal swells not as bad as predicted
September 30 18:16 2015

Tidal swells caused minor flooding in five islands in southern Gaafu Alif and Gaafu Dhaal atolls and Kolhufushi Island in Meemu atoll.

The Maldives Meteorological Services had warned of tidal swells and flooding from September 27 to 30 in connection with the perigean spring tide, which occurs when the full moon coincides with the perigree of the moon – the point when the moon is closest to the earth.

Gaafu Alif Maamendhoo, Madaveli, Gaaf Dhaal Fiyori, Gadhoo, Rathafandhoo and Meemu Kolhufushi experienced flooding in the past 36 hours.

State authorities earlier this week advised laying sandbags to protect powerhouses, health centres, and garbage dumps, and to take foodstuffs, valuables, and electronic equipment at beachfront homes and offices further inshore. The police and military were on alert to assist islands at risk of flooding.

Mohamed Yaseen, a member of the Fiyori island council, told The Maldives Independent that the flooding did not cause severe damage.

The swells have intensified loss of the island’s beach in an area that has been experiencing severe soil erosion, he said. Plants and trees, such as breadfruit, had been affected by the rush of sea water, he said.

An official from the National Disaster Management Centre also confirmed to The Maldives Independent that the flooding did not cause any damage to property or households.

Abdul Wahid, a councillor from Kolhufushi, said waves surged into the island from the north and south.

“It was very minor but floods reached the entrance of a house on the northern side,” he said.

A lunar eclipse on September 28 also coincided with the perigree of the moon, lifting tides by an average of six inches.

The met department meanwhile issued a “white alert” this morning, forecasting bad weather with showers, winds speeding at 40 kilo meters per hour and rough seas across the Maldives.

The Maldives has been experiencing a prolonged bout of bad weather in recent weeks with some 400 passengers rescued at sea and thunderstorms damaging property across the country.

Two islands in Meemu atoll were flooded after torrential rains last Friday.

In August, tidal swells hit Malé, causing severe flooding in the northeast side of the capital city. The area was inundated with more than two feet of water.

The met department’s alert earlier this month was issued after the Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) warned of tidal flooding for the Indian coastline in connection with the perigean spring tide.

Colombo based Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology (FECT) has predicted above average rainfall in the Maldives up to November due to the ongoing El Nino weather phenomenon.

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