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Record rainfall in Maldives capital

Floodwaters caused damages in 117 homes and 20 people were evacuated.



More than 100 homes needed assistance and two families were evacuated Wednesday as a torrential downpour flooded the streets of the capital.

The 223.5 millimetres of rain from 8am to 8pm was a record for the capital island, according to the Maldives Meteorological Services.

The previous record was 200 millimetres on December 11, 1998. The national record was 228.4 millimetres on the southernmost island of Gan on November 24, 2015.

The record rainfall in Malé caused flooding as many roads were inundated with up to two feet of water.

Soldiers and police officers were deployed to set up sandbags and operate pump stations. Volunteers from the local Red Crescent as well as scouts and girl guides joined the relief efforts along with staff from the city council and other offices.

Floodwaters caused damages in 117 homes and the National Disaster Management Centre helped relocate 20 people from two residences. Food and accommodation were arranged for the 11 adults and nine children at the Beehive Hotel.

The NDMC expects the families to be able to return home soon as water has been pumped out. Teams started assessing the damage at affected households Thursday morning.

Several businesses also faced heavy losses after floodwaters seeped into stores and warehouses on the worst affected roads. The local market next to the Malé Square apartment complex on Ameenee Magu was knee-deep in water. Many stalls were forced to throw out damaged fruits and vegetables.

Villa TV temporarily ceased broadcasting after equipment on the ground floor was damaged.

Electricity was also cut off to 168 homes due to the rain, according to the State Electricity Company. Power was restored by 1am. Earlier in the day, STELCO sought to assuage fears after rumours of an electricity leak in the flooded area around the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital near Malé’s southwestern harbour.

On Wednesday evening, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was briefed on the situation when he visited the disaster management centre established at the Kalaafanu School.

Several businesses donated funds and equipment, including MVR300,000 (US$19,455) from Universal Enterprises and MVR200,000 from Dhiraagu. The Litus motorcycle shop offered free repair service for water-clogged vehicles.

Floodwaters were pumped out and most roads were cleared after midnight.

Photos from MNDF