Central and southern atolls hit by high swells

South and central atolls in the Maldives have been hit by high swell waves in the past 48 hours, according to the Maldives Meteorological (MET) Service, causing minor flooding in some islands.

A duty forecast officer at the MET department said that islands in Addu, Gaaf Alif, Gaaf Dhaal, Thaa, Laamu and Raa Atolls were affected by the swells but not much damage had been reported.

“It happens every year but we have not noticed a pattern in this year’s incidents so far,” he explained.

The forecast officer added that while some swells might hit central and south atolls today, the waves are expected to subside in coming days.

According to MET, highest tide levels is expected between 4:30pm and 8.30pm today.

The island of Fares-Maathoda in Gaaf Alif Atoll, one of the islands struck by high swells, suffered minor flooding yesterday as waves broke over the island.

An islander told Minivan News that the flooding was exacerbated by the reclamation of a shallow passage linking the two islands of Fares and Maathoda in the 90s to create a small harbour.

The resident of Fares-Maathoda explained that before the reclamation, waves would pass over the narrow passage of sea.

“But now that it is blocked, the waves break in the area and sometimes flood the island,” he said.

In April this year, 5 million Danish Krone (Rf12 million) was donated by the Danish government for climate change adaptation in Fares-Maathoda, including use of the funds to continued flooding resulting from drainage and waste management issues.

Meanwhile in a visit to the National Disaster Management Centre (NMDC) today to inquire after the damages caused by the waves, Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed urged the relevant authorities to immediately report all occurrences of tidal surges and environmental hazards to the NMDC.