Monsoon rains cause $90k damages in Maldives capital

Prevailing bad weather across the Maldives has caused damages worth at least MVR 1.4 million ($90,638) in the island nation’s capital alone, the city’s mayor announced Friday.

Shifa Mohamed told reporters that torrential rains have caused flooding in Male over the past two weeks.

The city was also hit by sea swells last week, ravaging Rasfannu, a popular man-made beach and hang out spot on the western end of the congested city.

“We are currently fixing the damaged property,” Mohamed said.

Bad weather has also caused extensive damage in the southernmost atoll of Addu. The second most populous city in the country experienced heavy showers last week, causing flood damage to at least 646 houses, according to Addu City Council.

The latest to experience monsoon rains are the northern atolls. Several islands in the northern Haa Alif, Haa Dhaal and Shaviyani atolls reported flooding due to heavy showers over the weekend.

Maldives Meteorological Service on Friday issued an ‘orange’ level alert for the northern atolls. The region is expected to experience torrential rain and thunderstorms with average wind speeds of 10 to 20 miles per hour and gusts of 45 miles per hour for at least 48 hours.

It was only the second ‘orange’ level weather alert on record. The first ‘orange’ alert was issued for the capital region in mid May after Male and its suburbs were hit by unusually strong gusts and heavy rain.

Bad weather is expected to continue throughout the archipelago until Sunday, the MET office says.

The bad weather is the result of the southwest monsoon, locally known as Hulhangu.

As a tropical monsoon climate, the Maldives have two dominating seasons: a dry season, locally known as Iruvai and associated with dry northeast winter monsoons, and a wet season, associated with moist southwest monsoons and strong winds and storms.

The dry season has little rain and lower humidity; it lasts from December-April. The wet season is characterised by stronger winds and rain; it lasts from May-November.

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