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Mandatory evacuation for Northern residents in the event of storm this weekend |06 January 2024

Mandatory evacuation for Northern residents in the event of storm this weekend

Mr Alissop (at the head of table) leading the meeting with first responders yesterday afternoon at the DRMD’s headquarters in Mont Fleuri

          People advised to remain alert


By Patrick Joubert


People living in identified danger zones in Le Niole, Bel Ombre and Beau Vallon affected by flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain on December 6 and 7, 2023, will be made to evacuate their homes in the event of another heavy rain this weekend.

The statement was made yesterday by the Cliff Alissop, chief response officer of the National Emergency Operation Centre within the Disaster Risk Management Division (DRMD).

His statement follows a prediction by the Seychelles Meteorological Authority (SMA) last Thursday of heavy precipitation across the country, especially in the Northern region, for this weekend which will last until Tuesday next week.

Mr Alissop made the statement to the media after leading a meeting with first responders yesterday afternoon at the DRMD’s headquarters in Mont Fleuri, to discuss preparations, in terms of availability of resources and manpower, to collectively intervene, in case of a disaster this weekend.

Orange colour will be the alert for evacuation and it will be mandatory that they leave their homes upon receiving the alert. People are being encouraged to take shelter at other families’ residence and those who cannot make it will be sheltered at different designated sites on Mahé. Those who will need assistance to go to family members or to the designated shelters will also be assisted with transportation.

“People in those areas have been notified and we expect them to prepare themselves to leave when they receive the orange alert,” said Mr Alissop.

He noted that apart from receiving personal alerted calls, the residents to be evacuated will also receive alerts via the SMS and Whatsapp.

Mr Alissop said that the country’s emergency response is ready to face any calamity this weekend considering that all first responders have stated they have adequate resources and manpower on standby including prepositioning of some of them.

He added that although much attention is being given to the Northern region, other regions across the country will also be attended to in case of disasters as a result of heavy precipitation.

Speaking to Seychelles NATION by phone, the chief executive of SMA, Vincent Amelie, explained the heavy rain the country will experience this weekend will be as a result of an active low pressure amid the El Niño phenomenon which is also still active.

He added the rainy season, as of this month, also coincides with the tropical cyclone season, which carries strong surface winds, squalls, induced tornadoes and flooding from heavy rains.

Giving an overview of the rainfall in December 2023, Mr Amelie said that 1080.7 millimetres of rain were recorded compared to around 400 millimetres usually recorded in that month.

The chief executive added that the amount recorded was actually a record for one month of rain in the country and said 360 millimetres of rain was recorded in less than 24 hours on December 6 in Bel Ombre alone, and it was also a record for the amount of rain fallen in one day.

“The 360 millimetres of rain was more than enough rain to cause massive disasters,” Mr Amelie said.

Mr Amelie said based on the analysis of the currently active climate drivers, the whole of Seychelles saw generally wetter than normal (Above Normal) rainfall conditions during October-November-December 2023 at stations on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. This will carry through the January-February 2024 seasons.

He noted that the El Niño phase is expected to persist to a moderate to strong event until February/March 2024.


Patrick Joubert        

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