Flights suspended, schools closed: Mauritius awaits ferocious storm

Henry

Mauritius has suspended flights and schools are closed in anticipation of a strong tropical storm that should hit this island nation in the Indian Ocean on Thursday. Storm Eleanor was about 200 km northeast of the island by 04:00 on Thursday and moving at a speed of about 20 km/h, says the country’s weather service.

“The wind will initially blow from the southeast at a speed of approximately 40 km/h and will reach a speed of around 110 km/h by this afternoon and then increase to 120 km/h.”

The country’s airport operator announced that the facility would be closed and Air Mauritius canceled flights due to depart this morning. Public transport systems were suspended and schools closed.

Mauritius is famous for its picture-perfect white beaches and turquoise waters – but the remote island is also right in the path of periodic cyclones.

Last month, one person was killed and thousands left without power when tropical storm Belal hit the island. Many buildings were flooded and there was traffic chaos.

Between November and April, numerous storms or cyclones occur in the southwestern Indian Ocean.

Last February, Cyclone Freddy brought heavy rain and strong winds and not only caused death and destruction in Mauritius, but also in countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar.