Tropical storm hits Male’, sinks fishing boat

A tropical storm hit the capital city of Male’ yesterday causing severe damage, while other areas in the country’s middle region were also impacted by wind speeds of up to 62 miles per hour.

Deputy Director General for Meteorological Department (MET), Ali Shareef, said that yesterday the storm arrived at 2:50pm with strong westerly winds of up to 62 miles per hour.

“The wind speed deteriorated after 4:30pm to an average of 30 miles per hour,’’ said Shareef.

“Strong winds occur during the southwest monsoon every year. Last year wind speeds were recorded up to 50 miles per hour.’’

He said that weather would be unsteady at this time of year.

“The wind speed may rise that high within the next two days,’’ he added.

10 different incidents were reported to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) following the storm, which issued a warning not to travel by sea and to take safety measures if forced to do so.

The MNDF reported that roof of a shop was blown off by the strong wind and metal pipes on a 10th story building were also thrown to the street.

A tree fell on top of a house, and many other trees were uprooted, the MNDF reported.

The MNDF also said that minor injuries were caused to people and buildings during the incident.

Meanwhile, the MNDF Coast Guard reported that 15 incidents at sea were reported.

Yesterday when the storm arrived, a fishing boat with a crew of 11 men sank and the crew was rescued from the sea by the coast guard late afternoon.

In another incident, a cargo ship drifted onto a reef near Hulhule’.