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Minister blames sabotage of pump stations for flooding

The streets of the capital were inundated after heavy rainfall. 



Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muizz has alleged sabotage of the Malé stormwater drainage system after the streets of the capital were inundated by heavy rainfall.

The panel boards of most pump stations were damaged and destroyed and electricity was cut off for others, Muizz tweeted Tuesday morning.

“I condemn the uncivilised act of those who did this. And I apologise for the inconvenience caused to citizens,” he added.

Most roads were flooded up to one and half feet after continuous rain since the early hours of Tuesday, posing difficulties for pedestrians and parents taking children to school. With water up to the pavement in Ameenee Magu, the Giyasuddin International School located on the thoroughfare cancelled classes.

Muizz, who has been housing minister since early 2012, came under fire over his failure to resolve the longstanding flooding problem.

After the housing ministry took over municipal tasks from the city council, pump stations were set up by the state-owned Malé Water and Sewerage Company at a cost of MVR12 million (US$778,200).

The minister’s allegations of sabotage drew a backlash on social media.

“Where was the pump station? Who damaged it? Who destroyed it? Was it reported to the police?” asked opposition lawmaker Ahmed Mahloof.

Thievery in the name of development. Thievery from the flats. Thievery in the name of the bridge. Thievery in the name of road development. At the end of the investigation, the one who has to take responsibility is silent.”

The army’s fire and rescue service has started pumping out water from some streets.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, a tree in the courtyard of the Shaheedh Ali mosque was felled by a gust of wind and floodwaters seeped into the parliament chamber, causing a half an hour delay in the start of the sitting.

The Maldives Meteorological Service issued a yellow alert warning of torrential rain in Kaafu atoll as well as heavy rain and thunderstorms between the central and southernmost atolls.

According to the Met, the heaviest rainfall was recorded in the airport island near Malé with 60 millilitres during 24 hours.