A massive explosion at an industrial zone on Seychelles’ main island, Mahé, left the place looking “as if we went through a war”, President Wavel Ramkalawan has said.
It had ripped through the area leaving a trail of devastation.
No deaths have been reported so far, but one person is in intensive care.
The blast, along with flooding caused by heavy rains, led to a state of emergency being declared, which has now been lifted.
Earlier on Thursday President Ramkalawan ordered everyone except essential workers to stay at home.
The explosion happened just after 02:00 local time (22:00 GMT Wednesday) at a construction and quarrying company, where explosives were being stored in four containers.
Describing the scale of the blast, Seychelles Minister of Fisheries Jean-François Ferrari said: “The explosion was so sobig and so loud… that it left a hole 13 metres in the ground… and blasted away windows, doors, roofs of many commercial buildings.”
The international airport was also damaged, despite being 4km (2.5 miles) away. Schools are shut and hospitals closed to all but emergency cases.
More than 170 casualties were reported, most with light injuries. Five people have been admitted to hospital and one of those is in intensive care.