Thousands without power as cyclone winds hit Mauritius

The cyclone pounded Mauritius with heavy downpours and winds of 120 kilometres per hour, with a peak of 151 kilometres per hour
The cyclone pounded Mauritius with heavy downpours and winds of 120 kilometres per hour, with a peak of 151 kilometres per hour recorded in the capital Port Louis.

Thousands of homes were left without power in Mauritius on Wednesday as powerful cyclone winds battered the Indian Ocean island nation.

Tropical cyclone Batsirai passed within about 130 kilometres (80 miles) of the holiday paradise, bringing heavy downpours and winds of around 120 kilometres per hour, with a peak of 151 kilometres per hour recorded in the capital Port Louis.

Life was brought to a standstill, with cancelled, shops and banks shut, and air and sea travel halted.

At least 7,500 homes were without power after the winds knocked down trees onto electricity lines, according to the local electricity board. The was also disrupted.

The reopening of schools, closed since November because of the spread of the Covid variant Omicron, could not take place as planned.

"Cyclonic conditions will persist on the island until late evening," said a statement from the .

The French island of Reunion, which lies about 230 kilometres southwest of Mauritius, was on red alert for the likely passage of cyclone Batsirai overnight.

In 2007, two people were killed in Mauritius and nine hurt in Reunion when a cyclone hit the islands.

At least 7,500 homes were without power after the winds knocked down trees onto electricity lines
At least 7,500 homes were without power after the winds knocked down trees onto electricity lines.

Tropical storms and have also wreaked havoc in southern Africa in recent days, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

Tropical Storm Ana claimed the lives of 86 people in Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi last week.


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© 2022 AFP

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