MASSIVE DAMAGE ON FARQUHAR AFTER FANTALA MAKES TWO RETURN VISITS
(Posted 29th April 2016)
(Picture courtesy of Mr. David Savy’s FB page)
As reported earlier here did Tropical Cyclone Fantala, now known to be the strongest such storm in recorded history, hit the Seychelles island of Farquhar with windspeeds of over 350 km per hour, before, leaving a trail of destruction behind, moving on.
Yet, a day later did the storm change course and made a return to Farquhar, before eventually again hitting frontally a third time. Feedback received while still in the Seychelles and since then suggests that only a few cyclone proof buildings have survived the storm but that much else of the infrastructure was wiped out as were all the coconut plantations.
Half of the Island Development Company staff had been evacuated before the storm hit and the remaining 15 souls, thankfully none injured, will be airlifted to Mahe to recuperate from their ordeal while relief crews will begin to clear the various sites which need to be re-established.
Environment Minister Didier Dogley reportedly spoke to local media in Victoria and insisted that the island’s infrastructure would be rebuild and to such standards that it could withstand storms in excess of 350 km windspeeds, dismissing suggestions that small outlying islands like Farquhar were not productive and could not pay for their upkeep.
The Seychelles government has declared Farquhar a disaster area allowing for swift and comprehensive aid to be given, something which will help in reconstruction.
UNDP has pledged some 50.000 US Dollars towards the disaster fund and other UN organizations too have indicated their willingness to support the Seychelles government with material aid.
Farquhar is one of several island of the Seychelles archipelago closer to the African mainland and Madagascar than to the main island of Mahe, which explains the vast ocean area the Seychelles control through an economic exclusion zone.