(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan has sent messages of condolence to the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth, and French President Emmanuel Macron, following the recent flooding and loss of lives resulting from Cyclone Belal in Mauritius and Reunion Island, according to statements from the Department of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.
President Ramkalawan said that “We have been following, with a heavy heart, events and the challenging circumstances in Mauritius as they unfold, brought about by Cyclone Belal. We stand in unity with our fellow island nation during these difficult times. The displacement of families and the widespread damage to infrastructure are truly distressing, and our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted.”
Ramkalawan expressed deepest sympathies on behalf of the government and people of Seychelles to Jugnauth, to the Mauritian government and to the people of Mauritius, particularly those who were affected by the natural disaster.
“I am confident that with your leadership and the indomitable spirit of our Mauritian brothers and sisters, Mauritius will recover, emerging even stronger from this calamity. May the spirit of solidarity and the bonds of friendship between our two nations provide solace and strength as you embark on the path to recovery. And may the resilience of the Mauritian people shine through in the face of adversity,” said Ramkalawan.
According to Mauritian newspaper L’Express, two people died during Cyclone Belal, which brough flash floods and winds of over 100 kilometres an hour.
The storm hit Mauritius on Monday, with the capital Port-Louis badly affected by the flooding, where vehicles were pulled by the strength of the moving water and people escaped from their submerged vehicles, walking through the waters or sitting on top of their cars.
Message to French President Emmanuel Macron
Prior to reaching Mauritius, Belal first hit the French Department Island of Reunion early on Monday bringing heavy rain, flooding and winds gusting up to 250 kilometres per hour, where three persons died. All three were homeless.
In his message to President Macron, President Ramkalawan expressed condolences and solidarity following the destruction caused by Cyclone Belal.
“It is with deep sadness that I speak to you today, on behalf of my government and the people of Seychelles, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Belal in the Department of Reunion. Our most sincere thoughts are with you, your government, and especially to the families affected by this natural disaster,” he said.
The President added that “In the face of such an ordeal, I would like to express our unwavering solidarity with France and its people. At this difficult time, we are united by compassion and the desire to our brothers and sisters on Reunion Island. Please pass on our deepest sympathies to the families affected and their loved ones, with special thoughts for those affected and wishes for a speedy recovery.”
He wished the solidarity between the two countries would bring comfort in the face of adversity and collaboration that will “strengthen our shared resilience in the face of climatic challenges. In these painful circumstances, we assure you of our unwavering friendship and support. Please know that Seychelles stands shoulder to shoulder with Reunion.”
Furthermore, Seychelles’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism also sent a message of condolence and solidarity to the President of the Regional Council of Reunion Island, Huguette Bello, expressing solidarity to the people of Reunion.