Cyclone Belal wreaked havoc in Mauritius, leaving a trail of destruction with uprooted trees, submerged cars, and flash floods. The meteorological agency reported that the cyclonic storm is now moving away eastwards, no longer posing a threat to the territory.
The French island of La Reunion lifted its cyclone alert on Tuesday, indicating that Cyclone Belal had moved away, eliminating the danger it previously posed. Meanwhile, authorities in Mauritius are actively assessing the damage caused by torrential rain and flooding.
The Mauritius Meteorological Services (MMS) issued a “safety bulletin” as the storm moved away, following the escalation of the alert to the maximum level of four. The lifting of the red alert allows local businesses to resume activities, with residents advised to stay at home if possible. Nurseries will reopen from Wednesday, but schools will remain closed until Monday, according to the Prefecture of La Reunion.
Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth confirmed one death in Mauritius and criticized the MMS for its response to the storm. Expressing solidarity with the people’s frustration, he emphasized the need for accountability in handling the situation.
The impact of Cyclone Belal resulted in one fatality in Mauritius and another in Réunion. Floods in the capital, Port Louis, led to approximately 100 vehicles being damaged and abandoned by their owners. The International Federation of Red Cross Africa reported over 1,000 evacuations, with about 8,400 people in Mauritius experiencing power outages.
Several videos surfaced, showcasing the flash flooding in Port Louis and cars submerged in fast-flowing floodwaters, providing a visual understanding of the challenges faced by the affected communities.