Home International Mauritius grounds all flights as it keeps close eye on cyclone Freddy

Mauritius grounds all flights as it keeps close eye on cyclone Freddy

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The island nation’s weather service downgraded its cyclone warning to a heavy rain watch.

The island of Mauritius has issued its last cyclone bulletin and issued a heavy rain alert. Picture: Unsplash

THE Mauritius Meteorological Services (MMS) has lifted its cyclone warning bulletin as of Tuesday, February 21.

According to the island nation’s weather service, a heavy rain watch is in force over the the country.

“This is the last cyclone bulletin for Mauritius. Active cloud bands are expected to cross the island during the day. A HEAVY RAIN WATCH is in force over Mauritius,” said MMS.

The lifting of the cyclone warning comes following reports of flights being grounded and the country shutting its stock exchange as tropical cyclone Freddy approached the island. Emergency teams also braced for heavy rains, floods and landslides in four regions on Madagascar on Monday.

Mauritius announced that the international airport would be closed from Monday until further notice, Al Jazeera reported.

“Air Mauritius is closely monitoring the situation with the authorities and will keep passengers informed of developments,” the national carrier said on its website.

“Report from the National Crisis Committee confirms that outdoor risks have considerably decreased. In addition, weather observations indicate that Freddy is continuing to move away from the island and winds have subsided,” said MMS.

The weather service had expected Freddy to pass as close as 120 km to the north-north/west of the island late in the afternoon.

“As Freddy approaches … (a) storm surge is likely to cause coastal inundation in risk areas. It is, therefore, strictly advised not to go at sea,” the service’s bulletin said.

It is reported that the government’s disaster management office was sending tents, ropes and chainsaws and other supplies to four districts most likely to be affected, officials added.

The Indian Ocean islands and Mozambique on Africa’s coast have been hit by a string of deadly storms and cyclones that have forced thousands to flee, destroyed buildings and ruined crops.

In January, tropical storm Cheneso killed 33 people in Madagascar.

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