Mauritius Invests in New Flood and Storm Early Warning System

The government of Mauritius have announced the introduction of an Early Warning System for incoming storm surge, swells and tsunamis. The system is expected to be in place before the next cyclonic season, November 2015.

The project will be financed by the Global Environment Fund jointly with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). According to a government statement the project will involve input from Dutch water experts, Deltares.

In his statement, the Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, Disaster and Beach Management, Mr Raj Dayal, expressed the wish for the Dutch government to be a stakeholder as part of the international support from which Mauritius benefits with regard to the fight against coastal erosion.

Efforts to Reduce Soil Instability and Landslides

It was also announced that the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, Disaster and Beach Management, is working with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in efforts to counter landslide risks and soil instability in certain regions in Mauritius and in Rodrigues.

As it is, four regions in Mauritius, namely – Chitrakoot, Quatre Soeurs, Vallée Pitot and La Butte – are identified as high landslide risk areas. Monitoring devices have been installed in these locations following various surveys and surveillance conducted by the JICA expert team.

Mauritius Floods

Mauritius was hit by some of the worst floods in its history during April 2013, where several people were trapped and drowned in an underground parking lot. The country is also vulnerable to cyclones, storm surges and tsunamis. Around one quarter of the population of Mauritius live on the coast.

Floods in Port Louis, Mauritius
Man avoids flood waters in Port Louis by standing on a car roof

Mauritius is a member of the small island developing states (SIDS) network. According to a report from UNEP last year:

Rising sea levels remain the biggest threat to the environmental and socio-economic stability of small island developing states (SIDS), and increased levels of vulnerability means losses that run into trillions of dollars each year, according to UNEP.