Mauritius is on highest weather emergency alert as the country braces for Cyclone Belal, reported to be “dangerously approaching” the country.
Mauritius is some 220 kilometers northeast of Reunion, where the Cyclone Belal started from.
The Mauritius Meteorological Services on Monday, issued a warning level three – out of four – for the advancing cyclone, while urging citizens to stay safe by remaining indoors, no matter the good-naturedness of the weather at certain points.
A statement from the meteorological office read in part:
“On this trajectory, Belal is dangerously approaching Mauritius and it represents a threat for Mauritius.
“The radius of cyclonic winds is likely to cross the southern part of the island and Belal is expected to pass closer to the south of the island early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning,” it read.
On Monday, December 15, the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean was hit by a tropical cyclone. Heavy rains and powerful winds blew off buildings and cut off power poles.
Local authorities revealed that that the highest alert level, known as the purple alert, which was announced Sunday had now been lifted following a decline the cyclone’s intensity.
However, residents were still urged to remain indoors as there was likelihood of more dangerous rains and winds blowing on the island.
French weather forecaster Meteo France said Cyclone Belal brought “heavy rains, sometimes stormy, very violent winds and powerful and raging seas” when it hit the island.
One person has been reported dead from the cyclone weather event in Reunion.
Cyclones are “rapidly-rotating storm systems that rotate – counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere – around a low pressure centre. They are generally slow moving but severe, with winds of between 120-320 kilometres an hour.”