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Seychelles - Tropical Depression OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Publication date

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2002/0187
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Tropical Depression - Seychelles
20 September 2002

This situation report is based on information provided by the UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles.


1. During the week end of 5- 8 September 2002, the Island of Praslin, Seychelles' second largest island, was hit by a severe tropical depression. Praslin has a population of 6,000 which increases significantly during the tourist season. (Information regarding the damage and needs has only now become available).

2. The heavy rains and strong winds, exceeding 120 km per hour, caused widespread damage to roads and infrastructure throughout Praslin. Many electricity poles were blown down and the new Praslin domestic airport terminal suffered considerable damage. No casualties were reported.

3. Some 30,000 trees were uprooted, in addition to the direct impact on the biodiversity of the island, the loss of many endemic species has potential implications for the tourism industry.

National Response

4. The Office of the United Nations Development Programme for Mauritius and Seychelles reports that the Government of Seychelles has started to repair damage to infrastructure, notably to roads and public utilities.

5. However, the Government resources are insufficient to implement the required environmental rehabilitation and other measures in the short-term. Therefore, urgent external support has been requested to ensure that rehabilitation and recovery measures can be put in place immediately. This will contribute towards ensuring that the tourist industry in Praslin is not adversely affected, and that the revenues subsequently earned from tourism can in turn be used to further rehabilitate the island.

6. The bulk of assistance is needed for environmental rehabilitation. The Ministry of the Environment has estimated the rehabilitation costs at USD 6 million.

A breakdown is provided below:

Rehabilitate affected infrastructure Electricity and related services
Buildings and roads
Evaluation of biodiversity impact Study and habitat assessment using remote sensing
Reforestation Programme Rehabilitation of Nursery
Meteorological Services Two new meteorological stations and related peripherals
Emergency Clean-up Support Equipment replacement
Grand Total
Percentage of Total Economic Loss

7. OCHA Geneva is in close contact with the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Mauritius and will revert if the situation warrants it.

8. Contributions should be channeled through the Office of the UNDP Resident Representative in Mauritius and Seychelles. Donors to contact:

Ms. Rose Gakuba:
Tel. +230-208-8691
Fax. +230-208-4871
E-mail :

9. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Ms. F. D'Andreagiovanni /M. J. de Meritens/ Ms. H. Kuttab
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 14 78 / 71934 / 73194

Press contact:
(in GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in NY) - Mr. Brian Grogan, direct Tel. +1-212- 963 4832

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit