Flash Update #1: Cyclone Berguitta approaches Mauritius | 16 January 2018
• Tropical Cyclone Berguitta is strengthening and moving south-west towards Mauritius.
• The system could reach Mauritius on 17 January and cause heavy rain and strong winds.
• On Rodrigues Island, more than 40 people were evacuated following a strong tropical storm.
Tropical Cyclone Berguitta is strengthening in the southern Indian Ocean and moving south-west. On 15 January, its centre was located north of Rodrigues Island, in Mauritius.
Berguitta continues to approach Mauritius and represents a potential threat to the island. The system is expected to pass over or north of Mauritius on 17 January. Therefore, a cyclone warning class II by Mauritian authorities remains in force in the country. The authorities have advised the public to maintain all preliminary precautions. Heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge may affect the islands of Rodrigues and Mauritius, as well as La Reunion in the coming days. Authorities in La Reunion issued a cyclone pre-alert on 15 January.
According to the Mauritian Red Cross, at least 40 people have been evacuated following a strong tropical storm in Rodrigues Island. Parts of La Reunion were inundated by over 400 millimetres of rain due to tropical moisture from Tropical Cyclone Ava that passed through the area recently.
According to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS), which has issued an Orange alert, more than 1.5 million people could be affected by wind speeds of cyclone strength or above in Mauritius and La Reunion.
Berguitta might approach close to southern Madagascar, potentially bringing flash floods in south-east Madagascar.