May 16, 2007
Dozens of islands across the Maldives have reportedly been affected by a large swell that struck the country on Tuesday. The government says the number of inhabited islands affected is 55 out of a total of 197, but some local reports say 80.
The people of Fares Mathoda, Gaaf Dhaal atoll, reportedly abandoned the island, which was submerged, and took to boats at around 12:30 last night. Waves are also reportedly lashing Gadhdhoo, Gaaf Daal atoll.
The Maldives Meteorological Office warned all islands to be braced for further unusual tides through Wednesday and possibly Thursday. The Met Office cannot explain why the sudden swell has taken place but has said it is definitely not the result of a tsunami.
Related News: India Government Cover-up involved in Freak Tidal Surge
Government Wrong To Blame Storm Surges
A Meteorological Office forecaster has told Minivan News storm surges are not responsible for last week’s widespread flooding in the Maldives, despite the government’s insistence they are to blame.
On Thursday government spokesman, Mohamed Hussein Shareef, said “media reports of tidal waves are exaggerations… these are clearly storm surges [which] regularly happen in the Maldives at this time of year.”
Opposition parties have added to criticism of the government’s handling of the floods, by accusing the government of responding slowly and failing to involve the Disaster Management Centre early enough.
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