Two new islands? Cyclone leads to large sand dunes off Seychelles' island of Farquhar
Two new islands appear to be forming in the lagoon of Farquhar island. (Wavel Ramkalawan)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Accumulations of sand dunes appear to be forming two new islands in the lagoon of the remote Seychelles’ island of Farquhar.
The authorities are convinced that the process of this formation has been caused by Fantala – a tropical cyclone which hit the island in mid-April last year.
Experts were sent recently to Farquhar to study the formations. Their report is expected to be available to the public by the end of the month.
“As this is a rare occurrence, we are currently performing our own research to provide information on the true nature and process that has propelled the formation of these seamounts,” the project manager of the Island Conversation Society (ICS), Andre Quatre told SNA.
|The Island Committee from the National Assembly was the first group to come across the two islands during its working visit on Farquhar. (Wavel Ramkalawan) Photo License: CC-BY|
Farquhar, which is located more than 700 km southwest of the capital, Victoria, on the main island of Mahe, was the hardest-hit by Fantala among a group of southerly outer islands of Seychelles. With the destruction left in its wake, the Seychelles’ government had to declare the Farquhar atoll a disaster area.
The operations manager for Farquhar, Elvis Stravens, said that before, a boat could navigate anywhere in the lagoon to approach the island, but after a while officials noticed two strange formations taking the shape of two small islands.
“It started to become quite a hassle to navigate around the lagoon, as during high tide it was impossible to see the two islands,” Stravens told SNA. He also revealed that the accumulation of sand dunes can also be a result of erosion occurring on some coastal part of Farquhar.
The Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, Wavel Ramkalawan, who is also the chair of the Island Committee, said the committee was the first group to come across the two islands during its working visit on Farquhar.
The committee is still deciding on a name for the two new islands.
“In the interim since we were the first group to have spotted the two islands, we have suggested that it be named ‘Ile Depite’ (Deputy Island) and ‘Ile Lasanble’ (Assembly Island),” Ramkalawan said.
Ramkalawan added that the islands will soon be populated with coconut trees with the natural propagation of the plant.