Seychelles President Wawel Ramkalawan has declared a state of emergency after a blast at an explosives depot and flooding in other parts of the country's main island killed three people.

The explosion in the industrial zone of Providence, southeast of the capital Victoria, caused "large-scale damage", the president's office said in a statement. Residents are ordered to stay in their homes so as not to hinder the work of emergency services.

"All schools will be closed. Free movement will only be allowed to workers in vital services and commuters."

The floods caused "major destruction," according to the statement. Ramkalawan later told reporters that heavy rains and flooding, which mainly affected the northern part of the main island of Mahé, killed three people.

The president added that more than 100 people suffered injuries, mostly minor, in the Providence blast and were admitted to hospitals or clinics, according to the newspaper. Many buildings near the explosion were badly damaged, and some were completely destroyed. Some families have fled their homes for security reasons.

El Niño climate phenomenon causes flooding in Somalia

Providence is 7.<> miles from Victoria. Emergency services are working in the area of the explosion, the president said.

Authorities said the international airport and ferries were still working to allow people to travel if they had to.

Much of the East African region has been hit by heavy rains and flooding that has led to casualties. Hundreds have died in the region since the rains began in October, millions have been forced to flee their homes. Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan are exposed to flooding, aggravated by the El Niño phenomenon, with more than 130 deaths in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

Seychelles is a major tourist destination consisting of 115 islands. The country is the least populated in Africa, with about 100,000 inhabitants.

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