Heavy rainfall beginning of December caused severe damage to roads, flooding, and landslides, with damage to several properties and three people died. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles’ authorities have been advised by a risk specialist from Reunion Island to be on the lookout during the coming month as the weather conditions may bring more landslides.
The statement was made by Claire Rault, a natural risk engineer geomorphologist who did a study in the north of Mahe, after heavy rainfalls caused severe landslides in December.
“We are already on land that is saturated with water and that has moved because of the recent bad weather, so everyone needs to be vigilant,” said Rault.
In the first week of December heavy rainfall caused severe damage to roads, flooding, and landslides resulting in damage to several properties and causing the death of three people.
Rault told journalists that one of the measures that may be taken is to adopt good practices when carrying out construction work in the country.
The experts from Reunion, a French overseas department, conducted a study of recent events in the western Indian Ocean archipelago.
“There have been many landslides and broken roads in the areas in the north of Mahe that have been affected by the recent torrential rainfall. We have seen six or seven sites that we have considered as high risk that present imminent danger to the inhabitants,” she said.
Rault added that “there are two main factors to consider when judging if there will be a landslide – one is the predisposition where the area is one a slope which also make it prone to soil erosion.”
She said there is also the fact that this season is a special damp one, with a lot of rainfall and humidity.
The team will now write a report based on the sites they visited and analysed and “we will also include those we believe are more at risk,” said Rault.
The report will include the context and diagnostics of how the authorities and population should proceed in such situations.
“We will also detail residual risks and the proper protocols,” she expanded.
The report is expected to be ready in January.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Meteorological Authority, Vincent Amelie, told SNA earlier this year, that without preventive measures, the island’s nature could be in serious danger as well.
Amelie recently completed a study that follows the climate of Seychelles for the past 10 years and the results paint a very dim picture.
“What we will likely see is that while annual rainfall stays the same, we could have extreme rainfall, where a high amount of rain could fall at once, which could cause disasters, while on the opposite end, it could mean long periods without rain can also happen,” he added.
Amelie explained that these extreme weather events could become more frequent and much more severe as time goes on.