The Maldives Department of Meteorology (Met Office) has issued a ‘yellow warning’ advising the public against travelling by sea where possible, due to concerns about adverse weather conditions expected across the country for at least the next 24 hours.
The notice, posted on the Met Office website, stated that showers and thunderstorms were expected throughout the day – with average wind speeds of between 30 to 37 miles per hour. Stronger winds are also predicted as between Lhaviyani Atoll and Thaa Atoll, according to authorities.
With the Met Office predicting wind speeds could reach up to 55 miles per hour in parts of the country over the next 24 hours, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has urged anyone considering sea travel to notify the coastguard before embarking on their journey.
MNDF Spokesperson Colonel Abdul Raheem today told Minivan News that authorities had not been notified of any major incidents at sea resulting from the current weather conditions. However, Colonel Raheem urged everyone travelling by boat to take precautions nonetheless.
“We would ask anyone planning on travelling to check conditions with the coast guard as the sea is rough right now,” he added.
The MNDF Coast Guard has also encouraged members of the public to contact its toll-free number by calling 191 to get more information on suitable times for their journey.
Authorities have previously requested that vessels also contact the coastguard when embarking or returning from longer distance journeys during adverse weather conditions.
Local media reported that the MNDF has asked the public to pay attention to ensure cargo ships carry lighter loads under the current conditions, while checking vessels are equipped with sufficient life jackets and drainage facilities.
Met Office spokesperson Hussein Waheed was not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.