Torrential rain, thunderstorms, and rough seas have been wreaking havoc across the Maldives with the onset of the south-west monsoon.
On Wednesday night, a tornado struck the southernmost atoll, damaging 12 homes in the Hithadhoo ward of Addu City. The roofs were blown off nine homes and two trees fell on the roofs of three houses when the tornado hit around 10:30 pm, according to the Maldives National Defence Force.
Some roads were also blocked by fallen trees. Soldiers from the MNDF’s southern area command are working with the city council to help repair the damaged houses and clear up roads.
“The residents who need temporary housing have been provided assistance and efforts are being undertaken to help repair damaged homes,” Addu City Mayor Abdulla Sodiq told the Maldives Independent, adding that the weather is fine today.
A delegation from President Abdulla Yameen led by Defence Minister Adam Shareef Umar is due to arrive Thursday afternoon to review the damage and coordinate relief efforts.
Fathmath Thasneem, head of the National Disaster Management Centre, told state media that the authorities are hoping to quickly replace the roofs so that the displaced families could return before the start of Ramadan.
Flooding caused by heavy rainfall meanwhile damaged several homes in the southern atolls of Thaa, Gaafu Dhaal, and Fuvahmulah.