Shocking explosion and flooding: Seychelles’ President says “we will leave no stone unturned” in investigation 

The President said that the police are now investigating the cause of the explosion at the CCCL storage facility at Providence. (Seychelles Nation) 

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Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan declared a state of emergency on Thursday after an enormous explosion at the Civil Construction Company Limited (CCCL) caused massive damage at the Providence Industrial area and surrounding areas, and also major destruction occurred in the north of Mahe Island from flooding after heavy rainfall.

Ramkalawan said in a live press conference that the state of emergency will be for Thursday, December 7 only and applied Mahe Island, not other islands.

Ramkalwan told reporters that three people died from the destruction caused by the flooding after several days of heavy rainfall in the district of Bel Ombre, Beau Vallon, and Glacis on Wednesday evening.

He expressed his condolences to their families, who he knows personally. 

According to the Seychelles’ Health Care Agency, there were 178 casualties as a result of the explosion at the Providence Industrial area. Most of the patients, 81, reported to the Seychelles Hospital, 53 to the English River Heath Centre and 44 to the Anse Royale Health Centre. 

Major destruction occurred in the north of Mahe Island from flooding after heavy rainfall. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY 

“We were all shocked in the early morning to hear a loud explosion,” he said, which was heard in the northern districts.

“I was then informed that it was not thunder but it was all the explosives stored at CCCL that are used for blasting that had exploded. Different agencies went to Petit Paris and they were shocked by what they saw,” said Ramkalawan.

Providence is an industrial area found on the eastern side of Mahe, the main island, where many businesses are located including banks, restaurants and shops among others.

He said that when reaching the area they saw the gravity of what had happened but that the police and the military took control of the area while the injured were taken to the Seychelles Hospital and the ones at English River and Anse Royale.

The President said that the police are now investigating the cause of the explosion to  that “we will leave no stone unturned until we get to the root of the cause.”

When asked as to what will be the authorities’ next move, Ramkalawan revealed that there will be a series of assessments of the standards for stocking explosives in the country.

“We will also hold talks with CCCL and UCPS to discuss moving their explosives storage somewhere else,” he said.

In view of the amount of damage caused, the government said it will facilitate access to loans for those who will need new homes.

“There is another assessment that needs to be done on the damages after what happened and what people have lost, we will see how the government together with all Seychellois that would like to make a contribution, we will be able to help these people,” said Ramkalawan.  

He appealed to all Seychellois to show their solidarity and come forward and in help in any way they can.

“I am also asking banks to consider people hit with the events as special cases and not to charge them high interest on loans,” said Ramkalawan in his appeal to local financial institutions.

There are funds in the national budget to deal with disasters and that includes contingency funds that will assist those affected by the calamities.

Meanwhile, representatives from several ministries are registering the names of all those who have been affected and are holding visits to determine how many people will need assistance.

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