“Explosion Ignites Chaos: Seychelles Declares State of Emergency
The Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles is in a state of emergency after a huge explosion rocked the least densely populated African nation early Wednesday morning. The explosion, which is believed to have originated from a local oil refinery, sent shockwaves throughout the region causing damaged buildings and a large plume of smoke to rise from the epicenter of the blast. The Seychelles National Police are still investigating the cause of the explosion, but at this time it is suspected to be the result of a leaking fuel pipeline near the oil refinery. Reuters has confirmed that this is not the first such incident at this refinery, which has become the target of multiple sabotage attempts by foreign governments in the past. At this time, authorities have no estimate of the damage caused by the explosion, however it is expected that the damages will run into the millions. The Seychelles government announced they are requesting international aid and they are invoking a state of emergency until the situation is under control. Local residents and businesses are also being advised to take all necessary precautions and to stay away from the explosion's epicenter. This includes avoiding all non-essential travel, as well as not buying food or products from the affected area. The Seychelles Prime Minister, Wavel Ramkalawan, urged local citizens to remain calm as the government works to contain the situation. In a statement released on Wednesday, Ramkalawan said, "We ask of our citizens to remain vigilant and, as we battle this incident, the government is looking into what went wrong and we will take all corrective action necessary." At this time, the Seychelles government is working with organizations such as the World Health Organization and the World Bank to coordinate emergency response in the area. While the cause of the explosion is still being investigated, the Seychelles is committed to ensuring the well-being of its citizens.