Monday, January 28, 2013

Seychelles appeals for aid following floods and landslides

VICTORIA, Seychelles, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) - Seychelles, hit by a series of rare floods and landslides, declared a state of emergency on Monday in three districts of the main island and appealed for international aid.

Local authorities reported no casualties, but said three districts on the main island of Mahe were badly damaged with reports of flooding in more than 150 houses.

The Indian Ocean archipelago's president James Michel called for international help, saying his country could not cope with the "disaster" on its own.

The popular tourist destination usually escapes unharmed during the hurricane season, but was hit on Sunday by heavy tropical storms, with lashing rain on Monday hampering rescue efforts.

Seychelles, a former British and French colony, is made up of 115 islands with 85,000 inhabitants, with at least 70,000 people living on Mahe. More