Mauritius and La Reunion Islands are preparing themselves for intense tropical cyclone Berguitta

During the last night intense tropical cyclone Berguitta has intensified further. At 0400 hours, it was centered at about 480 km to the east north east of Mauitius, that is, in latitude 18.2 degrees south and longitude 61.9 degrees east. It continues to move in a general west southwesterly track at about 10 km/h. On this trajectory intense tropical cyclone Berguitta is approaching Mauritius and represents a direct threat to the island.

Mauritius used to have major cyclones more or less every ten years. Last major one was in 2002. We may assume this year will be the bad one. Mauritius experienced 2 similar cyclones on the same track, which were named Firinga and Dina; Both really hurted Mauritius.

Cyclone Firinga (1989)

The cyclone Firinga passed near Mauritius with wind gusts up to 190 km/h. Much of the island lost power, water, and telephone access; the water system was disrupted when cleaning systems were damaged. The storm destroyed almost all the island’s crops, including wrecking 5,000 metric tons of sugar. In addition, Firinga destroyed completely 844 houses in Mauritius and damaged thousands. Throughout the island, the cyclone killed one person, injured 507, and left about $60 million (1989 USD) in damage.

Cyclone Dina (2002)

During the second cyclone on the same track in 2002, Dina, 4 people have been killed. Power and communications across the island of Mauritius were crippled by the storm, with 90% percent of inhabitants losing electricity. For several hours, the country was cut off from the outside world, with all communications disrupted. About 50,000 of the nation’s 280,000 telecommunication lines sustained serious damage, resulting in prolonged power outages.Schools sustained significant damage and as a precautionary measure, all classes were canceled during the following 9 days.About 25 percent of the island was left without running water; agriculture sustained considerable losses as a result of the storm; Property damage from the storm amounted to US$100 million. Owing to the effects of Cyclone Dina and several other meteorological factors, the economy of Mauritius suffered significantly in 2002 as a whole. Annual growth dropped to about 1.9 percent from approximately 5 percent in 2001.

Cyclone Berguitta (2018)

Mauritius and La Reunion islands are in cyclonic alert. Schools are closed in Mauritius. During the last night intense tropical cyclone Berguitta has intensified further. At 0400 hours, it was centered at about 480 km to the east north east of Mauitius, that is, in latitude 18.2 degrees south and longitude 61.9 degrees east. It continues to move in a general west southwesterly track at about 10 km/h. On this trajectory intense tropical cyclone Berguitta is approaching Mauritius and represents a direct threat to the island. 1-minute sustained winds are at 105 km/h and would increase during the day.