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    Maldives floods: Homes damaged, people relocated

    GovernanceDisaster ManagementMaldives floods: Homes damaged, people relocated
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    Maldives floods: Homes damaged, people relocated

    The army, police and Male’ City Council alongside public workers, has stacked 1,018 sand sacks for prevention in 152 areas including locations such as stores, schools and warehouses that reported flooding.

    The Maldives’ National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has said that last Friday’s floods have in Male have caused damages costing 1.1 million Maldivian Maldivian Rufiyaas to housing alone.

    The heavy rainfall and the resulting flash flood in Male’ has led to damage to households and essentials and structural damages as a result of the rainfall amounts to an approximated MVR 1.1 million.

    Financial assistance of MVR 711,541 is to be distributed to the assessed households with funds from the disaster humanitarian aid policy. The priority will be to reinforce homes that have undergone structural damages. This amount adds up to MVR 611,466. Damages to everyday household essentials measures up to approximately MVR 100,000.

    The Maldivian Red Crescent received 494 calls regarding the downpour. Within the 227 households that reported flooding and damage, the Red Crescent was able to provide aid to 193 households.

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    The army, police and Male’ City Council alongside public workers, has stacked 1,018 sand sacks for prevention in 152 areas including locations such as stores, schools and warehouses that reported flooding.

    The government also shared that they relocated 110 people residing in 18 houses that suffered damage during the rainfall. The authority provided shelter and meals to the affected persons for a period of two days. These individuals have now been transferred back to their original residences.

    “These individuals were provided temporary shelter until they regain their standard conditions for living while their living quarters were rendered uninhabitable with a lack of cooking facilities, along with sleeping conditions and lavatory access,” the NDMA said in its statement.

    Existential threat

    The destruction to homes were this significant due to two flooding disasters occurring close together. December 31 also brought heavy rainfall and destruction to households. 20 homes that had previously reported damage then had been assessed once again following the Friday disaster due to further damage.

    The whole low-lying archipelago of the Maldives faces an existential threat from sea-level rise by the end of the century. Sea-level rise will further erode the retreating coast; and, combined with increasing intensity of rainfall, cause coastal flooding and saltwater intrusion, which will affect water security. Freshwater is limited across the islands, and especially in the remote atolls.

    Decreases in rainfall in the northern regions may place these islands at particular risk of freshwater insecurity, while a rise in extreme rainfall events will see increased flooding. In addition, the Maldives is projected to continue experiencing increased temperatures. Already a hot tropical climate, the rising temperatures will increase the number of ‘hot’ days and nights significantly. Increased global temperatures will also affect the sea surface temperature, which is very important for islanders who rely on the health of the surrounding oceans.

    Rainfall induced floods are the most frequent natural events in the Maldives. Rainfall induced floods (due to more days with heavy rainfall fall, >20 mm per day) as well as coastal flooding (due to sea-level rise) are predicted to increase in intensity. Apart from the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, the country has rarely experienced major disasters. But, recent years have observed more losses and damages due to small-scale and recurrent hazards, such increased rainfall, cyclonic winds, storm surges, salt water intrusion and coastal floods.

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