Cars submerged as Cyclone Belal sparks flash flooding in Mauritius

Cars submerged as Cyclone Belal sparks flash flooding in Mauritius
Cars submerged as Cyclone Belal sparks flash flooding in Mauritius

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - PORT LOUIS — Torrential downpours from Cyclone Belal unleashed severe flash flooding in the Mauritius capital, Port Louis, on Monday with cars washed down streets and people seen escaping their submerged vehicles.

The Mauritius weather service raised the alarm from class two to class three as the island nation braced for worse to come. Belal is expected to pass Mauritius at its closest point early on Tuesday.

Belal barrelled into the Indian Ocean island of Réunion early on Monday bringing torrential rain and winds gusting up to 250 kilometers per hour. Many homes were left without electricity, tens of thousands without water, and telephone and internet connections were also interrupted. Authorities issued the highest level of alert, warning people not to venture outside as the storm hit.

At around 9 am when it hit from the north and west of the island, the eyewall of cyclone Belal veered northwards, away from the center of the island.

A violet alert level was lifted later on Monday, allowing emergency services to intervene and assess the damage caused by the cyclone, whose path was less "cataclysmic" than expected, according to the local prefecture.

One death was confirmed as the population remained confined to their homes. The local prefecture said the death was of "a homeless person who had not taken shelter" in Saint-Gilles (west) and had refused the emergency accommodation offered, according to authorities.

The gendarmerie reported that her body was found near its barracks, but the cause of death is still unknown. — Euronews


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