Tropical Cyclone FANATALA-16, Damage Assessment Report, Farquhar Atoll, Seychelles, 25 April 2016

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Tropical Cyclone FANTALA formed over the south-western Indian Ocean on 11 April. It then moved west, intensifying. It passed near Farquhar Atoll (Seychelles) on 17 April at 6.00 UTC with max. sustained wind speed of 241 km/h and on 19 April at 18.00 UTC with max. sustained wind speed of 157 km/h, causing widespread damage. On 21 April at 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 230 km southwest of the Agalega islands (Mauritius) and 640 km northeast of Madagascar and it had max. sustained wind speed of 167 km/h.

Significant damages were reported on Farquhar island on Monday 18th April after FANTALA made landfall on Sunday evening with winds up to 350km/h. No fatalities have been reported but preliminary reports indicated that almost all of the buildings on the island have been damaged or flattened by the storm's powerful winds, except for only four cyclone-proof facilities located on the island. On Wednesday 20th April Seychelles authorities declared Farquhar islands as disaster areas.

UNOSAT Damage Assessment

On 19th April 2016, UNITAR/UNOSAT has triggered the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator Office (RCO - Seychelles &Mauritius) to support with satellite damage analysis on going emergency response operations within cyclone most affected areas in Farquhar Atoll.

First cloud free very high resolution satellite image covering Area of Interest (AOI) was acquired on 22nd April 2016 (07:30 UTC) and delivered the same day by the Space Charter to UNITAR/UNOSAT.

Hereafter a summary of satellite based analysis undertaken by UNITAR-UNOSAT using post disaster satellite image acquired on 22nd April 2016. The extent of damage is categorized into three main levels/classes: Destroyed, Severe Damage and Moderate Damage.

Important Note: Total number of affected buildings reported as well estimates of different level of building damages may have been underestimated. This is a preliminary analysis & has not yet been validated in the field.