Powerful cyclone nears France's Reunion island

Jan 02, 2014
A cyclonic swell sweeps a pier on January 2, 2014 in Saint-Gilles, in the French La Reunion overseas island

A cyclone packing winds of 150 kilometres (93 miles) per hour neared the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion on Thursday, lashing the coast with huge waves and leaving thousands of homes without power.

One person had already been seriously wounded and seven others suffered light injuries in accidents caused by the of incoming Bejisa.

State-run power supplier EDF said about 82,000 households on the island—which is on red alert—had no electricity.

Waves more than eight metres (26 feet) high were lashing the coast, and were expected to get even higher during the course of the afternoon.

Several trees and traffic lights were uprooted on the island.

The French weather service predicted that Bejisa would pack winds of up to 200 km/h later in the day.

"The cyclone has not even struck and yet it has caused so much damage," said a resident from the western town of Saint-Gilles.

"I don't know what will happen when it's over us."

La Reunion suffered heavy damage in 2002 due to cyclone Dina, which claimed six lives and caused widespread flooding.

Explore further: NASA satellites see Tropical Cyclone Amara affecting Rodrigues Island

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA sees heavy rain continue in Tropical Cyclone Amara

Dec 19, 2013

NASA's TRMM satellite saw heavy rainfall was happening in Tropical Cyclone Amara on December 16, and still occurring on December 19, although it moved from east to southeast. Warnings are already in effect ...

Recommended for you

First eyewitness accounts of mystery volcanic eruption

2 hours ago

New light has been shed on one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in the last 500 years—the so-called 'Unknown eruption'—thanks to an unusual collaboration between a historian and a team of earth scientists at the University ...

Scientists monitoring Hawaii lava undertake risks

9 hours ago

New photos from the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory give a glimpse into the hazardous work scientists undertake to monitor lava that's threatening to cross a major highway.

NASA sees Odile soaking Mexico and southwestern US

21 hours ago

Tropical Storm Odile continues to spread moisture and generate strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall over northern Mexico's mainland and the Baja California as well as the southwestern U.S. NASA's Tropical ...

NASA sees Tropical Storm Polo intensifying

21 hours ago

Tropical storm warnings now issued for a portion of the Southwestern coast of Mexico as Polo continues to strengthen. Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed powerful thunderstorms around the center ...

User comments : 0