A cyclone warning class II is in force in Mauritius
A cyclone warning class II is in force in Mauritius

Fifth cyclone bulletin for Mauritius issued at 1610 hours on Tuesday 16 January  2018.

During the last 6 hours the Intense Tropical Cyclone BERGUITTA has slightly weakened and has also slowed down. At 1600 hours, the Intense Tropical Cyclone BERGUITTA was centered at about 420 km to the east north east of Mauritius, that is, in latitude 18.1 degrees South and longitude 61.2 degrees East. It continues to move in a general west south westerly track at about 8 km/h. On this trajectory Intense Tropical Cyclone BERGUITTA continues to approach Mauritius dangerously and represents a direct threat to the island.

Therefore, a cyclone warning class II remains in force in Mauritius. 

The public in Mauritius is advised to complete all necessary precautions.

Weather in Mauritius will be cloudy to overcast with intermittent rain. The rain will be more frequent, moderate to heavy at times together with thunderstorms, as from tonight.

Wind will blow from the south east at about 50 km/h, strengthening
gradually. The gusts may reach 110 km/h tonight.

Sea will be very rough with swells. It is advised not to venture at sea.

A cyclone warning class II is in force in Mauritius.
A cyclone warning class II is in force in Mauritius.

The next bulletin will be issued at around 2210 hours.

Note: As Intense Tropical Cyclone BERGUITTA continues to approach Mauritius, the warning will be upgraded to class III tomorrow morning at 0400 hours

No cyclone warning in Rodrigues

When do cyclones hit Mauritius?

Mauritius is prone to be hit by topical storms during the summer season; between November and April. The risks are higher during the more active period, from mid-December through March, when the sea temperature gets warmer.

The cyclonic season officially starts on 15 November and ends on 15 May.

The Vacoas Meteorological Station issues regular updates which are aired in English, French, Kreol and Hindi on radio and television as soon as the cyclone constitutes a threat.

Additionally, a visual form of warning is also used. Small red flags hoisted on public buildings indicate a prevailing cyclone warning. The number of flags corresponds to the class of warning in force.

Class I:

Issued 36 to 48 hours before the likelihood of gusts reaching 120 kilometers (km) per hour.

At this stage there is no disruption in the daily routines of the population.

Class II:

Issued so as to allow, as far as practicable, 12 hours of daylight before gusts reaching 120 kilometers (km) per hour.

Class III:

Issued so as to allow, as far as practicable, 6 hours of daylight before gusts reaching 120 kilometers (km) per hour.

Class IV:

When gusts of 120 kilometers (km) per hour have been recorded and expected to be recurrent a cyclone warning class IV is issued.

If you are not used to raging tempests, the ferocious whistling of the winds and splashing rains – especially during a pitch dark night when the power supply is disconnected – can be quite a scary experience.

Termination:

Issued when gusts exceeding 120 kilometers (km) per hour are unlikely to occur.

Mauritius weather conditions will gradually improve.

Precautions to be taken during a cyclone.

adequate supplies of food,
 bottled water
 medications
 other essential supplies on hand such as supply of candles, matches, batteries for radio and flashlights
 keep your car topped with gas, as the pumps at the station may not be working after the storm
 It is not unusual for stores and shops to close before, during and after a cyclone.
 Check your generators and make sure you have an adequate supply of fuel
 Cut down any dead foliage and remove any debris around your home
 Secure any items that could become dangerous (patio furniture, umbrellas, barbeques, plants, bikes, toys).
 Put your car in the garage to protect it from falling objects.
 Check batteries in storm shutter remote controls.
 Have the tools and supplies on hand to secure your house (plywood, nails, shutters, etc.) Upper floors in high-rise buildings are at increased risk of windows being blown out due to increase wind.
 Boil and filter extra quantities of water in case power is cut. Do not drink the water from the tap immediately after a cyclone; the water lines are often disturbed and therefore tainted.
If you are a tourist, talk to your hotel front desk to learn about the hotel’s emergency plan for a cyclone. Notify your family and friends of your whereabouts and your plans until the storm passes. Be sure to have an adequate supply of necessary prescriptions and medications on hand.
During the storm:
 Do not go outside, flying debris is lethal
 Do not watch the storm from beaches as storm surge, rip tides and rogue waves are hazardous
 Stay inside in an interior room of your residence; choose a room with little or no windows that is located away from the exterior wall of the residence
 Stay off your home/cell phone and radio. Keep all means of communication available for an emergency
 If a member of your family sustains an injury during the storm, report the injury and degree of severity to the local authorities as soon as possible.

When cyclonic conditions are prevailing, stay inside and disconnect all electrical appliances.

Note: for your safety and protection, do not drive under a Class 3 or 4 warning.

After the cyclone warning is terminated,

  • don’t travel far from your shelter
  • avoid eating fallen fruits
  • beware of fallen electric power lines and trees
  • keep far from flooded water
  • don’t get tempted to surf the high waves if you love water sports. Believe me some folks do take crazy risks to get their adrenalin going.