Mauritius – Floods Displace Hundreds After Torrential Rain

Around 300 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in Mauritius after torrential rainfall lasting twelve hours triggered flooding.

Mauritius Meteorological Services (MMS) say that at least 9 locations have seen over 100 mm of rain in the last 12 hours. In a statement earlier today, the agency said:

“Rivers and other water courses are already flooded and there are water accumulation in several places. The public is advised not to venture in risky areas. The sea is very rough with swells”.

The rain is a result of a tropical depression which was centred about 610 km to the west southwest of Mauritius earlier this morning, according to MMS.

Image: Mauritius
Tropical Depression over Mauritius, 10 February 2016 Image: Mauritius Meteorological Services

MMS said that “active clouds associated with the tropical depression will continue to influence the local weather causing widespread heavy showers, at times accompanied with thunderstorms over the whole island”.

Houses, roads and crops have been damaged. The capital, Port Louis, and surrounding areas have been badly affected. Schools, government offices and some offices in the private have closed and employees and students sent home. The heavy rain has also caused some landslides which have blocked roads. Other roads have been closed as a result of surface water.

Local media say that there are currently 4 emergency evacuation centres open for those displaced by the flooding.

In their statement earlier today, the meteorological agency said that there have been heavy showers throughout the island during the last 12 hours and the highest rainfall recorded up to 10:00 hrs this morning are as follows:

Rose-Belle : 133 mm
Pointe aux Canonniers : 188 mm
Riche En Eau : 101 mm
Nouvelle Decouverte: 121 mm.
Mon Loisir Rouillard: 131 mm.
Providence:123 mm.
Champs de Mars: 128 mm.
Bagatelle dam: 110 mm.
Vacoas: 102 mm.
Quatre Bornes : 77 mm
Mon-Bois: 79 mm
Beau Bassin: 72 mm

Social Media

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March 2013 Floods in Port Louis

The recent torrential rain will remind residents of Port Louis of the deadly flash floods that struck on 30 March 2013, where at least eleven people died. Port Louis saw around 150 mm of torrential rain in just a few hours.

New Early Warning System

In January 2015, the government of Mauritius announced the introduction of an Early Warning System for incoming storm surge, swells and tsunamis. The system was expected to be in place by late 2015.