Strong wind and heavy rain forecast over the next 24 hours

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected over the central and southern areas from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. today, Maldives Meteorological Service (MMS) has said.

Thunderstorms are expected over the area between Haa Alif and  Gaafu Dhaalu atoll today (May 1), and the MMS have issued a White Alert.

In addition, the Met Office has forecast strong winds and heavy rain in most parts of Maldives within the next 24 hours.

The country is expected to experience winds up to 40 mph hour during storms. Northern atolls can expect heavy gusts at speeds of 15 miles per hour (mph) during showers and southern atolls can expect winds between 10 mph and 20 mph during showers, according to local media Sun Online.


Strong storms and rough seas cause nationwide damage

Stormy weather conditions – heavy rain, harsh winds, and rough seas – over the past week have caused damage to islands throughout the Maldives.

In the south the island of Fuvahmulah has suffered the most damage, said Minister of State for Defence and National Security and head of the National Disaster Management Center (NDMC), Ahmed Mohamed.

“The harsh winds that hit Fuvahmulah yesterday afternoon blew off roofs. A large coconut tree had fallen on top of house and a large tree had fallen on top of the council office. There is additional damages as well. An estimate of damages is now being assessed,” Mohamed said.

He also noted that heavy rains have led to a food shortage, flooding and property damage on Thinadhoo Island in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

“In Thinadhoo, some of the roofs of houses were blown off due to strong winds. Heavy rain had caused flooding throughout the island. The flood water had seeped into the houses damaging people’s property. We are also receiving reports that they are short of food,” said Mohamed.

Meanwhile, in the north of the country, Rashgetheemu Island in Raa Atoll suffered damage from a lightning storm on April 27 which left all electronic systems within the Island Office “useless”, equipment inside the island’s health centre and power house damaged. Additionally, some electronic devices in private homes were harmed, as well as the island’s banana plantations, Island Council Vice President Ali Hameed told local media today (May 9).

The Maldives Meteorological Service has forecasted thunderstorms throughout the country, concentrated in the central and south, over the next 24 hours, with rough seas, and strong winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour. They have also issued warnings about flooding due to storm surge and tidal waves, particularly during high tide.


MNDF warns of bad weather, calls on seafarers to avoid sea travel

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has warned seafarers of bad weather and has called on them to take safety precautions when travelling by sea, and avoid such travel at all where possible.

In a statement, the MNDF warned seafarers to avoid travelling by sea on advice from the National Meteorological Department that the winds would reach up to 35-45 miles per hour.

Speaking to Minivan News, MNDF Spokesperson Abdulla Ali said that two days ago very regrettable incidents occurred relating to sea travel in different parts of the Maldives due to bad weather, prompting the warning.

Sixteen cases of incidents that occurred on sea due to bad weather were reported to police over the weekend.

These included the capsising of a speedboat with six passengers near Feydhufinolhu island in Kaafu Atoll. The passengers swam to Feydhufinolhu.

Another boat travelling with six passengers ran aground the same day and the passengers were initially not found by rescuers. They were later located near the Palm Beach Resort after police, MNDF and a boat from Naifaru in Lhaviyani Atoll conducted a search for them.

Police also said that some people who went to uninhabited islands for picnics had become stranded because of the rough seas.

Weather forecasts of the National Meteorological Department for today and tomorrow show that the Maldives will be experiencing widespread rain with isolated heavy showers and thunderstorms.

According to the forecast, winds will be light and variable becoming south/south westerly 3-11 knots in the southern atolls, with south-west/westerly 4-13 knots elsewhere.

The Meteorological Department forecasts that winds may gust 21-25 knot during showers and visibility will be 9 kilometres, reducing to 1-4 km during squally showers.

The state of the sea is slight to moderate in southern atolls and moderate becoming rough during showers for the rest of the country, and waves will be 3-6 feet in the open sea, according to the Meteorological Department.

Meteorological Department’s Spokesperson Ali Shareef was on leave and not available for comment.


Bad weather affecting tourism

Tourists have begun cutting their holidays short because of the current bad weather in many of the atolls, Miadhu reports.

This sort of weather is uncommon during the December-January period when tourism usually peaks.

The Maldives Meteorological Service reported that the weather was being created by a low pressure trough above the country.

Europe and the Americas are experiencing severe bad weather and the hampering of transport systems could be having an effect on tourist arrivals to the Maldives, Miadhu suggested.