Torrential rain and tidal waves forecast for central Maldives

Torrential rain and tidal waves forecast for central Maldives
May 09 17:56 2016

The Met Department has issued a severe weather warning for central Maldives, forecasting torrential rain, severe thunderstorms and swell waves for the stretch of atolls between Lhaviyani and Meemu Atolls over the next seven days.

A total of 53mm of rain fell on Malé today alone, inundating some roads and causing flooding at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. Photos circulating on social media show sewers spouting water.

A man on a motorbike drove fell into a trench on Ameenee Magu, local media report. The shallow trench had been dug to lay pipes to stop flooding and was not visible beneath two feet of water.

Several islands have reported some flooding and the police have warned against travel by sea.

A spokesman for the airport said flooding has now subsided, and that “operations were not interrupted.” A storm last month had caused similar flooding at INIA. The government plans to invest some US$800million to upgrade and develop the airport.

The bi-annual street market underway at Malé’s carnival area has been cancelled because of flooding.

On the island of Velidhoo in northern Noonu Atoll, tidal waves have deposited salt water inside houses on the beachfront. Ali Ahmeen, an island councilor, said the council has placed sandbags at the affected area to prevent flooding.

Flooding was reported on the islands of Thinadhoo and Gahdhoo in southern Huvadhoo atoll on Sunday.

The current stormy weather marks the onset of the southwest monsoon.

According to the traditional Nakaiy calendar, an indigenous system with weather measurements, the Kethi Nakaiy underway at present will bring seven storms, which is good for agriculture. Fishing will be poor.