EPA conducts inspection to assess damage to reef

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting an assessment on the damage caused after a bridge construction platform ran aground a reef.

The platform used for the construction of the Thilamale' Bridge ran aground the reef on Tuesday. EPA's Director General Ibrahim Naeem said the incident is being investigated and that assessments are ongoing to see if the accident caused significant damage to the reef. He assured that EPA would work closely with the Planning Ministry in investigating the matter and that action would be taken if necessary.

Three people were injured in Tuesday's incident and were treated at Villimale' Hospital.

The government is working to connect Male' and Vilimale' via a bridge before the end of July next year. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had earlier said Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi will be linked via bridge by early 2024. The contractor, India's AFCONS, has said more than 1,200 employees have already been brought in to work on the Thilamale Bridge.

Temporary sites for the bridge project have also been set up, and the geotechnical survey is expected to be completed by October.